Conscious Kitchen partners with schools to break the cycle of pre-packaged, processed food, transitioning to chef-prepared, scratch-cooked meals created in on-site zero-waste school kitchens, based on five foundational attributes: fresh, local, organic, seasonal and non-GMO.
Conscious Kitchen works to improve the health, well-being, and life outcomes for youth and communities by shifting the paradigm around food service and cultivating a local ecological food system in and around our schools.
We believe access to healthy food is a right, not a privilege. By providing all children with healthy, organic food in school settings, Conscious Kitchen seeks to overcome health disparities that take an unfair toll on children living in low-income households, while reducing the stigma often associated with National School Lunch Program participation. School supported ecological agriculture strengthens farms, ranches, soil and communities, while deepening the school community’s connections with the social and cultural relevance of food.
WHAT SETS US APARTTHE CONSCIOUS KITCHEN PROGRAM IS UNIQUE AND UNPRECEDENTED
Serve fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO food
Purchase within USDA budget and exceed nutritional guidelines
Daily scratch-cooked meals from an on-site kitchen
Dedicated head chef and staff
Kitchens partner with local community chef
Partnerships with organic farmers and purveyors
Strong commitment to and education around zero waste
Broad based community involvement
Leadership development through CK Ambassadors Program
Food literacy through garden, nutrition & culinary curriculum
Over four years, Conscious Kitchen has transformed school culture in the dining hall and beyond. Teachers report improved attention in class, elevated attendance, fewer headaches and stomachaches, heightened leadership skills exhibited by students, and children treating one another with respect, kindness, and open communication. Data shows significantly less food and packaging waste, increased consumption of fruits and veggies, less thirst and hunger, as well as a more equitable school food environment (reduced stigma associated with the school meal program).
In the fall of 2013, Sausalito-based non-profit, Turning Green (TG) launched Conscious Kitchen as a pilot project at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr Academy, the sole K-8 public school in the Sausalito Marin City School District. In partnership with Executive Chef Justin Everett of Cavallo Point Lodge, and the school district, we set out to reimagine school food and break the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, processed, heat-and-serve meals.