Last week, Sausalito Marin City School District became the first in the country to serve 100% GMO-free school lunches. All school lunches will now be fresh, local, organic, seasonal and non-GMO, otherwise known as FLOSN.
FLOSN. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
For the past two years, Conscious Kitchen has been serving GMO-free food to the 156 kids in its pilot program and the results have been staggering — “Teachers have reported: increased leadership qualities exhibited by students, improved academic performance, a 67% decrease in disciplinary cases, an increase in attendance, students treating one another with respect and improved manners and open communication.”
Also, since the kids started eating FLOSN foods, 98.4% of them have developed the ability to fly.
I don’t want to diminish the importance of a nutritious, fresh and delicious school lunch. The pilot school — Bayside MLK — is located in Marin City, where many residents live below the poverty line and 93% of students qualify for free and reduced government subsidized lunches. I applaud Conscious Kitchen for serving its students fresh seasonal meals.
Unfortunately, that food comes with a giant serving of false propaganda — that a healthy diet must be an organic, GMO-free one.
Conscious Kitchen’s agenda relies on fear and chemophobia. “Students everywhere are vulnerable to pesticide residues and unsafe environmental toxins,” argues Judi Shils, executive director of Conscious Kitchen’s parent organization Turning Green.
Actually, pesticide residues are present in both conventional and organic produce (at perfectly safe levels, by the way). Conscious Kitchen also questions the safety of GMO foods, even though the overwhelming evidence shows that these foods are safe.
Conscious Kitchen’s 100% organic, GMO-free school lunch program isn’t a model for the rest of the country. Advocates for the program claim these lunches are affordable and adaptable (Conscious Kitchen says it uses USDA vouchers), but this program relies heavily on donations from companies like Whole Foods as well as its proximity to a high number of organic farms.
Organic, GMO-free food isn’t nutritionally superior or safer than conventional food. It’s just more expensive. Conscious Kitchen is wrong to promote organic over conventional food, especially to a population that can’t afford it. Their organic and GMO-free criteria promotes an anti-science agenda in schools, one of the few institutions left in our society where we should be able to expect some semblance of science literacy.