When students return to California’s Sausalito Marin City School District later this month, they will find something different about their meals. The district will become the first US school district to provide meals that are 100 percent organic and non-GMO.
According to market researcher Packaged Facts, the sustainably sourced meals will extend to breakfast, lunch, and snacks served to the more than 500 students attending the district's Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy and Willow Creek Academy. The meals will be prepared on-site through The Conscious Kitchen, a program that partners with schools, guiding them to implement food programs based on five foundational terms: fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO.
A Packaged Facts interview with district representatives revealed the goal of this initiative is to “enlighten the mind while nourishing the body by educating students on non-GMO products and ingredients while simultaneously providing them with sustainable meals.”
District personnel hope the students will develop an appreciation for the meals and they are encouraged to provide feedback on what foods they like or dislike.
Packaged Facts recent study “Non-GMO Foods: U.S. and Global Market Perspective, 2nd Edition” reveals more than four in 10 survey respondents believe that GMO food products are unsafe to eat. In addition, consumers with children in the home are 25 percent more inclined than average to say GMO foods are unsafe. This tendency is particularly pronounced in households with school-age children between the ages of six and 11.
“The establishment of a school district serving 100 percent non-GMO foods is an important development that could someday in the future be looked upon as a landmark decision in the nation's education strategy,” Packaged Facts said. “Even though the long-term effects of genetically modified foods remain unclear, the battle between pro-and anti-GMO forces shows no sign of abating. If anything it seems to be getting more intense.”