Sunday, March 30, 2008

From the Farm to the School Lunchroom

The increased cost of fuel is affecting the costs of everything. Many school districts are having to cut items from the menu because they don't fit into the budget any longer!

One school district in Bainbridge, Washington is trying to pass a bill that allows the school districts to favor contracts from local farmers to get local foods on lunchrooms menus. Groups of parents hope the measure will rejuvenate interest in adding nutritious, naturally grown foods to the district’s menus.

Dr. Cowan, a physician and parent of students in the district said, "There is a growing body of science that shows that foods shed nutrients over long trips, while fossil fuels are burned shipping the foods from one state to another. Meanwhile, nutritionists are more and more abandoning vitamins pills and food pyramids in favor of fresh, lightly processed produce."

Meanwhile, Cowan said, local farms would benefit from new demand, which could in turn help preserve open space and aquifers. He hopes the district can take advantage of the new legislation, even if it only adds an incremental amount of fresh produce.

Overall I think its an innovative idea in trying to feed children nutritious options while boosting the local economy and agriculture all the while being environmentally friendly! To read more about their plan, click here.