Three cheers for California’s Sausalito Marin City District! The 2015 through 2016 school year welcomes the district’s innovative new meal plan, which provides a non-genetically modified and completely organic menu to its student body. The depth and breadth of this initiative makes California’s Sausalito Marin City District the first in the United States to adopt such a vast change to the USDA approved school cafeteria regulations. The district’s organic, non-GM menu is accompanied by educational initiatives in gardening and nutrition. This programming seeks to supplement the dining experience that students enjoy in the cafeteria. An instrumental member of this new approach to children’s nutrition, Turning Green founder Judi Shils, states “Students everywhere are vulnerable to pesticide residues and unsafe environmental toxins. 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.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the Sausalito Marin City District’s dining approach, I gleaned the above information from an article on Off Grid Quest entitled “America’s First School District to Serve 100% Organic Meals” which can be accessed by clicking the following link: http://offgridquest.com/food/americas-first-school-district-to-serve-
This article got me thinking about the effect that a preventative approach to childhood malnutrition and obesity would have on the future of the United States, as well as the world at large. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we as a society did not wait to educate our citizens about nutritious eating patterns until they have reached adulthood and unfortunately, more often than not, have acquired a chronic disease? It has always seemed backwards to me that the majority of adults are formally taught how to eat nutritiously after, rather than before, they become patients of a hospital or another type of health care setting. They are taught how to eat right sometimes years after eating wrong: after their at best ineffective, or at worst damaging eating patterns have become habits. And as they like to say, old habits die hard. That is the truism of all truisms.
So what if the way of eating at California’s Sausalito Marin City District became the habit, the nutritional expectation, the national standard for feeding America’s children? What if from kindergarten through twelfth grade, each child was fed an organic, non-GM cafeteria lunch, was educated about nutritious eating habits, and was witness to the short and long-term benefits of gardening? Well, then we as a society will have instilled in America’s youth a habit of nutrition spanning over a decade. A habit that empowers the continuation of healthy eating into adulthood, and that emphasizes how nutrition not only enables us to learn to our fullest potential, but also to live to our fullest potential.
I say that education is the essence of prevention. How about you?
Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,