Bay Area farm-to-table chefs serving local schools this week

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Bay Area farm-to-table chefs serving local schools this week
West Contra Costa Unified School District Superintendent Matt Duffy helps serve The Conscious Kitchen meals at Peres Elementary. All photos in this report were provided by the school district.

Cafeteria food at local schools might never be the same after this week.

From Monday through Friday, students at Peres Elementary in Richmond and Madera Elementary in El Cerrito are tasting breakfasts and lunches prepared by 15 notable Bay Area farm-to-table chefs.

The effort by The Conscious Kitchen is part of a broad initiative to exhibit how healthy, seasonal, organic school meals that kids love can be served at schools with limited budgets.

“We hope this week will serve as the launch for a full transition to The Conscious Kitchen framework in each of these schools,” according to the group’s statement.

Meals are being prepared to FLOSN standards, meaning they are fresh, local, organic, seasonal and non-GMO. They also meet USDA requirements and exceed nutritional guidelines, according to The Conscious Kitchen. Ingredients are reportedly sourced from local organic farmers, ranchers and purveyors supporting the local economy.

Lunches include a main course, side, fruit and milk or water for between $1.70 and 2.45. Breakfast feature the same components prepped and served by a group of parents at each school, and at a cost between $1.00-1.25.

Led by the UCSF Family Health Outcomes Project, an effort is being made to track and measure how the meals impact classroom outcomes, waste, environmental impact and food intake.
 

The Conscious Kitchen hopes to prove “that serving the highest quality FLOSN food to children in a school setting is possible within school budgets.”

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