I am thrilled to hear today that Organic Valley, the nation's largest co-op of organic farmers and producers, has been named the milk supplier for the 28,000-student Boulder Valley School District. As reported in DL's September 09 issue, chef Ann Cooper, a.k.a. Renegade Lunch Lady, has recently focused her prodigious efforts to improve school lunches here in Boulder, and the organic-milk change is the most welcome new element. “School lunch programs across the nation need to make fundamental changes to improve the health and well-being of our children. Unfortunately, public schools are one of the last places where organic milk is usually found,” she says in the press release. “Not only is organic milk produced without antibiotics, synthetic pesticides and hormones, making it healthier for growing children, but Organic Valley milk is healthier for our local community because it’s produced by local family farmers.”
When people ask me what they should "start with" in terms of organic food, I always say dairy ... because all that nasty stuff in conventional milk and dairy products can't ever be washed off, and kids (at least MY kids) drink a LOT of milk. It was the first thing our family switched to organic, and now our schools have the same benefit. If you want to see this happen in YOUR school district, don't wait: check out Cooper's Food Family Farming website, with resources such as The Lunch Box tool to help you get something going.