Did you know that cereal is one of the most consumed items in national school meal programs, and yet the majority of those offered are conventional, wheat-based cereals that contain harmful ingredients?
Breakfast should jumpstart a day, providing the nutrition and energy to power us physically and mentally. Our aim is to set our children up for health and success, especially when it comes to the breakfasts sourced, prepared, and served daily to tens of millions of students in schools across the country.
This is why Conscious Kitchen is spearheading Project Cereal, to serve organic cereal as a staple on school breakfast menus. While Conscious Kitchen has successfully integrated numerous organic items into school menus over the past 9 years, no USDA certified organic cereal is currently compliant with school meal nutrition requirements. Although packed with ancient grains and superfood ingredients none meet USDA-mandated whole grain requirements. Due to supply chain breaches early in the pandemic, waivers made it possible for Conscious Kitchen to include organic breakfast cereals in hundreds of thousands of community food boxes in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD). Despite superior nutrition facts and flavors favored by children, this allowance was removed when school resumed in-person. Cereals are the most consumed item in school food programs, which is why we are committed to securing a permanent place for organic breakfast cereals in procurement processes with school districts and cereal manufacturers.
Popular conventional cereal brands contain harmful ingredients, and pesticide and herbicide residues that are known allergens and carcinogens – including glyphosate, a chemical listed on California’s Prop 65 list. Glyphosate was declared a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), yet found in alarmingly high concentrations in mainstream food products. Comprehensive research validates that ingestion of glyphosate puts kids at higher risk for cancer, autism, diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s disease, and disruption of vital microbiome processes.
Project Cereal is set to launch in March 2022 with 30,000 students across 53 schools in the WCCUSD to serve nutritious, healthy, kid-approved breakfast cereals and change what is possible in California and beyond.
We are engaging key stakeholders and policymakers, providing data and education and promoting collaboration and innovation as we transform the school food system. Conscious Kitchen believes every child has the right to nutritious food and we are dedicated to safeguarding and stewarding next generation leaders, lands, and future — one bowl of cereal at a time.
Conscious Kitchen advocates for, purchases, and believes in organic for its proven benefits to people and planet. Organic supports public health, the environment, and equity; allows brains and bodies to function optimally; combats the speed, scale and severity of climate change; provides more nutrients with less harmful chemicals, artificial additives, antibiotics, preservatives and pesticide residue; lowers emissions while increasing biodiversity, keeps soils healthy, water clean, and natural resources managed sustainably; protects workers, promotes animal welfare, and improves local economies and thus communities.
OEHHA Public Comment
Read our official request of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
See elementary students tasting and rating organic breakfast cereals in school.
Look at a fictional representation of what a cereal box would look like with full transparency.
Glyphosate Fact Sheet
Educate yourself on the facts about this herbicide to protect your right to health.
Meet the leading minds and renowned experts guiding our research and work.
Follow the journey of both conventional and organic milk from farm to school dining hall.