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THE DISH

Whole Foods teams with Ann Cooper on school lunch programs

The partnership includes lobbying Washington to improve school food and launching a website on nutritional tips and other resources.

August 19, 2009|Mary MacVean; Betty Hallock; Krista Simmons

Whole Foods is partnering with "Renegade Lunch Lady" Ann Cooper, who helped reform Berkeley's school food program, to help other schools improve what they serve to the 30 million children who eat school lunches in the U.S.

Whole Foods Market Co-President Walter Robb and Cooper are going to Washington to try to persuade lawmakers to improve federal school breakfast and lunch programs in the Child Nutrition Act, which is up for review by Congress.

A website, thelunchbox.org, will include recipes for schools, information about how to get healthful food, and community activism resources.

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Mary MacVean --

Homegrown sites, jammy and zesty

A new Los Angeles-based blog, Saving the Season, celebrates the art of home canning (or "putting up") and all things deliciously jammy -- preserved huckleberries, blueberry butter, mulberry-plum preserves and more.

On Saturday, the blog's author, Kevin West, and Bettina Birch of BeeGreenFarm will give a free canning demonstration at Surfas in Culver City from noon to 1:30 p.m. Free. Surfas is at 8777 Washington Blvd., Culver City; (310) 559-4770.

Meanwhile, Zester Daily: The Culture of Food and Wine has launched online, started by former Times staff writer Corie Brown with the help of other contributors from L.A. and beyond.

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Betty Hallock --

Double shot of 'Top Chef' shows

There's no taking a breather between the end of "Top Chef Masters" and the start of "Top Chef" Season 6. Tonight, the "Top Chef" franchise will take over the airwaves for two hours of back-to-back series.

At 9 p.m., "Top Chef" Season 6 contestants take the stage in Las Vegas. Michael Voltaggio (of the Dining Room at the Langham) and his brother, Bryan, might deliver some drama in the form of sibling rivalry.

At 10 p.m., Rick Bayless, Michael Chiarello and Hubert Keller will compete for the grand prize of a $100,000 donation to their charity of choice in the season finale of "Top Chef Masters."

What's next? "Top Chef Juniors"? Well, yes.

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Krista Simmons

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