Kids in the Sausalito Marin City School District took part in the first ever transition to an all organic lunch menu in an American school. Even if you don’t buy into the whole organic food craze, it is hard to deny that a more health conscious menu for our kids is an admirable move.
So why don’t the rest of our school districts follow?
Well it’s not cheap for starters. Organic, local and non gmo foods can be costly, and for some districts, inaccessible. It’s no coincidence that the county with which Sausalito Marin City Districts belongs is one of the wealthiest in the county.
How do we raise the standard across the country so that all kids have access to healthier food at school without blowing the budget?
The good thing is organic foods are becoming cheaper and cheaper every day. Many of the drivers of the food industry are shifting to organic, as we’ve seen with the value supermarket chain Aldi Groceries who promises to deliver organic foods at a comparable price to conventional supermarkets. The other side of it is, it doesn’t have to be organic to be healthier than what is being served in most schools today.
When I went to school our cafeteria had a lunch menu that usually consisted of french fries and either burgers, sandwiches or at best a wrap that was loaded with rich dressing. What did we have to drink? You guessed it, soda or sugary juices like five alive and minute maid. If we want our kids to eat fast food everyday why don’t we just let McDonalds take over our cafeterias?
A project like Sausalito Marin City undertook not only provides kids with healthier food but also does something that’s arguably more important… It instills healthy habits in our children! Part of the project also involves education for the kids about the food, how it is sourced and prepared. These are all important steps in our food consumption process that we often overlook in a fast food culture.
The CDC recently reported that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. If we want to turn this around we have to start with our schools.