Discover more about all things organic. Do you want to plant some veggies? Interested in learning more about organically grown products and produce? We with some information and ideas. Keep checking back as we are going to talk about GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in food and recommend other great producers of tasty organic foods.
Seattle mom gets Organic lunches into Schools
Organic lunches are now being served in some schools in Washington State. While it may sound like a nutritionist’s dream it is reality at the Lincoln Elementary School. According to an Associated Press (AP) story the school’s organic salad bar has proven so popular and economical that all Olympia grade schools now have one.
Lincoln elementary eleven year-old student Cameron Landry said, "The food is pretty good. And it's much better because you actually have a choice," Landry continued as he chowed down on salad. "Otherwise, it's 'eat this or nothing!'"
Although fried chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers still reign supreme in most cafeterias, a small but growing number of schools are turning to organic food as a way to improve children's health and fight obesity. Children who eat a diet of organic food show a level of pesticides in their body that is six times lower than children who eat a diet of conventionally produced food (See Daily News). A study from Emory University found that an organic diet given to children provides a "dramatic and immediate protective effect" against exposures to two pesticides that are commonly used in U.S. agricultural production (See Daily News).
Would you like to get organics into your child’s school?
Our friends at Stonyfield Yogurt have put together these 10 helpful steps to make it easier:
- Visit your school and familiarize yourself with the layout, cafeteria food, ala carte lines, school store, and vending machines.
- Eat a typical lunch at the school if at all possible. Consult the curriculum or teachers to determine if students receive any instruction in nutrition and healthy eating. Talk with food service workers to get their opinions on what students do and don't eat.
- Meet with your school's decision-makers: the school food services director; the principal; the PTO; and/or members of the school board-and discuss your concerns.
- Organize a committee! Enlist other parents and/or teachers and staff who feel as you do.
- Recruit members from the community at large who might be helpful-a pediatrician, nurse or nutrition expert, for example. Identify students to serve on your committee or help with the project. Student participation is key!
- Study the issue! Use the information you might find in Stonyfield Farm Menu for Change Library section to build your case and become informed. See Point/Counterpoint: Overcoming common objections to help frame your arguments.
- Involve the media. Write letters to the editor about the problems you see. Cite statistics. Send press releases to your local newspapers and radio stations to announce an event or an important meeting about school food. Suggest your local paper doing a feature story on the problems you see.
- Stay tuned to the process. Whether your school agrees to ban some junk foods, discontinue vending services, change the cafeteria menu…whatever it is, stay involved. Keep your committee intact to oversee the process and to step in if implementation doesn't go as expected.
- Advocate for the issue: Write letters to public officials to help change public policy.
- Inspire others: Tell your success story to the media. Write a press release about what you’ve accomplished or learned. Better yet, call up a reporter or editor you might know and suggest they do a feature story or an editorial about your school or project. Send us your story here at Stonyfield and we may put it here on our web site. Drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.