Marin County Project Aims To Change Cafeteria Menus

MARIN COUNTY (KCBS) — School lunch food is getting a lot healthier in Marin County, thanks to an innovative program aiming to change cafeteria menus.

The program is called Eco Top Chef Marin and it’s sponsored by the environmental advocacy group Teens Turning Green.

“It came to life because the school lunch programs in our community and in many others are not what they need to be,” said Teens Turning Green Executive Director Judi Shils.

KCBS’ Patti Reising Reports:

The program is focusing on eight middle schools in Marin that will go on a series of field trips starting with a farm and farmers market and ending at the restaurant of one of the eight sponsor chefs.

Shils said the culmination will come in May at a Top Chef competition.

“All of the schools that are participating with their chefs will come up with a great menu and will have a secret ingredient,” she said. “The kids will make a meal that is within the USDA school lunch program budget.”

The project’s goal is to inspire Marin students to rethink their food choices and work to transition them from conventional to conscious, benefiting their health and that of the planet.

“The ultimate goal is that if we keep demonstrating that this can be done that at some point, people will have to listen and pay attention and not keep falling back on old practices,” said Shils.

The winning team will have dinner hosted by their chef at his/her restaurant and a few surprise items for each of the eight participating students.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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