By Fredrica Syren:
It’s a very sad fact that school lunches in the U.S. are known to be lacking in nutrition and imagination, so when I heard that a school district in the U.S. has been serving 100% organic and GMO-free lunches, I was in awe. I wish that for all schools.
More than 500 lucky students at Bayside MLK Jr. Academy (Marin City) and Willow Creek Academy (Sausalito) in Marin County, California, participate in a pilot program called Conscious Kitchens. Students receive a fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO breakfast and lunch daily.
Conscious Kitchen was launched by the Sausalito-based non-profit Turning Green in partnership with Executive Chef Justin Everett of Cavallo Point Lodge, as well as Whole Foods Market, Good Earth Natural Foods and the school district. Their purpose is to reimagine school food and break the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, processed, and heat-and-serve meals at Bayside MLK.
According to Steve Van Zant, the superintendent of Sausalito Marin City School District, the program has been a success. Since the program’s launch at Bayside MLK Academy in 2013, discipline cases have dropped dramatically, attendance has improved, food waste is down, and students and teachers’ sharing of meals has led to improved manners and open communication, greatly enhancing the school community. Sounds like a success, for sure!
The goal of this program is to inspire parents and school leaders to launch Conscious Kitchens in communities worldwide to ensure the health, nourishment and success of all children, now and for future generations.