“It's literally the best we can get.”
Schools in the Sausalito Marin City School District just north of San Francisco have made a drastic change that’ll undoubtedly help improve their students’ performance—and it’s not their textbooks. It’s their food. The Sausalito Marin City District is the first in the United States to offer all organic lunches. No more fried, greasy pizza and tacos, just sustainably sourced foods free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Meals are provided by the Conscious Kitchen, a program created by Turning Green, a nonprofit dedicated to “a systemic transformation of school dining, to the health and wellness of our children, and to a thriving future for our planet.” “Students everywhere are vulnerable to pesticide residues and unsafe environmental toxins,” Turning Green’s founder, Judi Shils, says. “Not only does this program far exceed USDA nutritional standards, but it ties the health of our children to the health of our planet. It’s the first program to say that fundamentally, you cannot have one without the other.” In addition to enjoying new, tasty lunches, students will participate in nutrition and gardening programs.
Conscious Kitchen’s organic foods and nutrition education program debuted at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy back in 2013. After two years, its founders say it had a positive effect on school attendance and disciplinary issues. “It’s literally the best we can get, that’s the starting point,” said Shils. “That’s how we can begin to start making bodies healthy and minds healthy.”