One thing that bloggers do quite well, especially food bloggers, is find ways to include their passions and their causes in their posts. For our BlogHer Food speaker interview this week, I asked the speakers in the Your Brand + Your Causes panel this question:

Would you show us an example post of how you have integrated your causes into your food blog and share a few words about how either readers react or how you got to a point where you felt comfortable and/or compelled to share your cause?

Julie Gunlock got passionate about more than just pears.

As a blogger who focuses on school feeding programs, I try to point out to readers how the federal government actually makes it harder for kids to get healthy, local food on their lunch trays. In a December 2011 blog post, I explained that USDA regulations were, in some cases, preventing schools from serving local produce. The story — first reported on NPR — involved local Oregon pear growers lobbying for a rule change so that local pears (the very pears growing right outside the school) could be served to kids. The reason these pears weren’t allowed? Because the pears weren’t included on the USDA’s list of “approved foods” for school lunches. Unfortunately, the story was reported as a feel-good example about local growers working hard to get fresh and locally grown produce into schools. Fair enough but the far bigger issue was that these pears were banned from schools in the first place because of rules coming from Washington. We hear a lot about the need to improve school lunches but the solution doesn’t lie in Washington. If we want healthier school lunches, we need to give local school districts more control, not centralize school menu planning in Washington.