The Conscious Kitchen partners with schools, guiding them to implement food programs based on five foundational principles: fresh, local, organic, seasonal, non-GMO (FLOSN).
We envision a world in which all students have access to healthy, sustainable school food that nourishes them in body and mind and plants the seeds necessary for them to become informed, inspired, and mobilized young leaders.
Fresh. Local. Organic. Seasonal. Non-GMO. These five foundational terms form the backbone of this program and define our unwavering commitment to feeding students the absolute healthiest, most ethically sourced food possible.
Read more about our criteria HERE.
How is The Conscious Kitchen Unique?
Strict criteria for all food
TCK is the first school food program to maintain an uncompromising set of food standards. All food must be fresh, local, organic, seasonal, and non-GMO.
Working within existing structures
TCK makes use of existing kitchen staff and uses USDA meal reimbursements to cover food costs.
Strong partnerships and community involvement
Relationships within the school and in the broader community prompt collaboration and strengthen the food web.
Daily scratch-cooked meals from an on-site kitchen
A fully-equipped, on-site kitchen allows students to connect to their food and the staff that prepares it.
A dedicated head chef and team
A chef and kitchen staff prepare all meals and create a welcoming space that emphasizes the importance of sustainable, healthy, and nourishing food.
Local chef partner
Justin Everett, the acclaimed chef at Cavallo Point Lodge, consults on menus, opens doors to strategic partnerships, and mentors students in his restaurant.
Conscious Kitchen Ambassadors
Through the CK Ambassadors program, student leaders work with the head chef to develop menus, offer feedback from their peers, and develop culinary skills.
Food literacy and education
The Conscious Kitchen incorporates a comprehensive garden and nutrition program to give students practical tools and instill food literacy.
In the fall of 2013, Sausalito-based non-profit Turning Green (TG) launched The Conscious Kitchen as a pilot program 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, as well as Whole Foods Market, Good Earth Natural Foods and the school district, TG set out to reimagine school food and break the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, processed, heat-and-serve meals at Bayside MLK.
With tremendous community support, TG transitioned the school’s kitchen to one that now produces more than 300 fresh, local, organic, seasonal, and non-GMO breakfasts and lunches each day. All food is cooked from scratch, on site.
In just two short years, The Conscious Kitchen has transformed school culture in the dining hall and beyond. Teachers have reported increased leadership qualities exhibited by students; improved academic performance; a 67% decrease in disciplinary cases; and an increase in attendance. Teachers have also observed students treating one another with respect, improved manners and open communication. Through their participation in menu development, food preparation, service, and zero-waste cleanup, students now have a sense of pride and ownership in their school food. For the first time, they are coming together with staff to share meals in an inclusive dining experience that fosters conversation, joy, and trust.
The Conscious Kitchen works to hone student leadership skills by involving students in menu development, food preparation, meal service and zero-waste clean up. Through its interdisciplinary garden and nutrition curriculum, students plant, cultivate, and harvest, following their food from soil to plate. By breaking down barriers between food cultivation and consumption, students become environmental stewards and learn tools to integrate a balanced diet into their lives.
In Fall 2015, The Conscious Kitchen will expand to its second site, Willow Creek Academy, forming the first 100% organic and non-GMO school district in the country. In 2015, the program will help serve a total of 500 students more than 70,000 healthy, sustainable meals.