All produce is purchased within six days of being served, and all meals are prepared fresh daily in an on-site kitchen. Hands-on gardening classes, when offered, help students form an immediate connection to their food.
Food tastes best and has the highest nutritional value when it travels straight from farm to fork. We use no processed ingredients. By feeding students fresh produce, they avoid consuming harmful chemicals and preservatives.
Ingredients are purchased from local farmers and ranchers or from fair trade farmers. Produce is purchased directly from farmers and ranchers and in some cases, through partnerships with local distributors.
The average American meal travels an estimated 1500 miles before consumption. By prioritizing purchasing from local farmers, ranchers, purveyors and businesses, regional economies are strengthened by reliable consistent demand for local products, and costs are reduced by simplifying the distribution system.
All ingredients used by Conscious Kitchen are USDA Certified Organic.
To be certified organic, farmers must avoid using substances that might harm air, water or soil, including synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Organic food puts human and soil health first, and supports farmers and businesses that do the same.
Purchasing decisions from local farmers are based on what’s available now.
Purchasing in season means you buy, cook and eat produce that is better tasting, harvested at its peak, and grown closer to home while fostering appreciation for year round variety and unique seasonal flavors. At the same time it benefits health, soil, environment and wallet.
Conscious Kitchen commits to using ingredients that are not genetically modified.
The choice of non-GMO products reduces pesticides in our food supply and the quantity of toxic chemicals that children are exposed to. Early childhood exposure to pesticides is associated with pediatric cancers, ADHD, lower IQs and behavioral problems. We have little or no understanding about long term health impacts from consuming GMOs, especially to vulnerable populations like children, because our government does not require or perform independent health and safety testing of GMO food.