First US School District to Serve Organic Meals


Our Monday green news brings you the latest on nutrition, good causes and child education:

organic meals, kids and food

Photo courtesy of Christopher Porter via Flickr

  • First US school district to serve organic meals:Starting this school year, more than 500 students at Bayside MLK Jr. Academy (Marin City) and Willow Creek Academy (Sausalito) in Marin County, California, will be served only organic meals from sustainable sources, and all prepared on-site through the program The Conscious Kitchen. The Sausalito Marin City School District will be the first school district in the country to serve 100 percent organic and non-GMO meals. Turning Green, a student led global movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools, and communities, launched The Conscious Kitchen pilot program in August 2013 together with Cavallo Point Lodge, the Sausalito Marin City School District, Whole Foods Market and Good Earth Natural Foods. The pilot served 156 students at Bayside MLK Jr. Academy in Marin City, California. In two years, the program saw a steep decrease in disciplinary cases, increased attendance and a greater sense of community. Today, The Conscious Kitchen is expanding to serve Willow Creek Academy, the other school in the Sausalito Marin City School District.
  • Five foods that might disappear with minor climate changes: Our planet’s climate changes are happening, and are already affecting the growth cycles of certain staple crops. As Gerald C. Nelson, Professor Emeritus at University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) with a background in climate change and agriculture, explained, the following five crops might not beat the heat, and their loss will probably change our diet. 1. Potatoes: will be mainly affected in the region of India India, but basically everywhere else too. “They need a cool nighttime temperature in order to start growing the tuber, the part that we eat. One area that he cites specifically is the Himalayan foothills in India.” 2. Arabica coffee: will be mainly affected in the region of Latin America (Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala). “We know that coffee grows in a certain temperature range. They’ve been moving up the mountains, but at some point you run out of mountains to move up.” 3. Quality apples: will be mainly affected in the region of United States and Japan. “Apples need a period of vernalization in the wintertime. If you shorten the cold period, you’ll have more issues with tree crops like apples or cherries.” 4. Durum wheat: will be mainly affected in the region of United States, Canada, China, India, Russia, and Australia. A 1-degree change over the past 50 years has already caused a 5.5% decline in crop yield, with a 25% drop expected in particularly hot years come 2050. 5. Rice: all major rice-growing regions will be affected. “As nighttime temperatures go up, the rice is going to have a problem flowering and won’t make as many seeds.”
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