The four Rs: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and … Real food?

Organic, It’s Worth it in Schools contest promotes healthful food in the cafeteria

A lot has changed in recent years in this big green world, but in the cafeterias at public schools things are still fairly … orange, as in unnaturally, day-glow-orange cheese.

Locally, concerned educators and parents belonging to the Advocates for Healthy School Communities have been making headway in improving school-lunch healthfulness through things like education and garden-to-classroom programs. And now, the Organic Trade Association is offering help as well by promoting the health benefits of serving children organic food and providing education resources on its Web site (, and with the Organic, It’s Worth it in Schools contest. With the online competition, schools have a chance to win “an organic garden complete with seeds, soil and expert gardening support; or a fully stocked vending machine, which can feature organic items like milk, fruit, cheese, yogurt and snacks.”

To enter, visit and nominate your favorite school by signing up for the organic food newsletter. Then click on the “share” button to get others to vote. Voting ends May 1. Winners will be notified by May 7.