Welcome to Spring! The days are longer, the weather is nicer, and I am thankful that I no longer live in the Northeast, where spring was greeted with a massive snowstorm!

We have had a few exciting things going on in the last month, including “Zero Waste Week” at Stevenson School and the news that Bay View Academy Charter School had their charter renewed for five years and they will be expanding to a K-8 School! Congratulations BVA!

Zero Waste Week at Stevenson was organized by the Ocean Guardian team, and the focus was on reducing the amount of waste produced at lunch time. Students and staff members were encouraged to bring their lunch in a reusable lunchbox or bag, use reusable containers instead of plastic and Ziploc bags, and fill reusable water bottles. The students and staff did a great job, and I am excited to see them continue to reduce waste in other innovative ways. AQUA TERRA Culinary is proud to provide lunches with little waste – our trays, hot containers, and silverware all get washed and reused every day. We are also getting involved in a food scrap collection program and will hopefully be able to extend that service to the Carmel Campus to help them in their composting efforts!

In other news, as we continue to work on our menus, we are looking for ways to add more beans. Here are some great recipes for meals that include beans from the New York Times health blog, “Well.” http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/eat-your-greens-with-beans/?ref=health. What type of bean-based dishes do your kids like to eat? Share your ideas on our facebook page and maybe one of your recipes will make it onto our school lunch menu!

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please contact me directly at susan@aquaterraculinary.com with any feedback about our kids! lunch program.

If you are interested in learning more about food, check out this month’s recommendation: I am currently reading a book called The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II. The more I learn about the so-called “American diet,” the more I am pushed to educate people, especially our youth, about the connections between food and health!

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