Honey mustard dressing and organic tofu are now being enjoyed by students not only for their great flavor but for their local and sustainable sourcing.
"Both of these products are created locally from natural ingredients," said Gary Petill, Director of the Food and Nutrition Services Department. "This adds to our Farm to School program that sources local produce and continues our efforts to serve healthful food to our students."
The first new product is Honey Mustard Dressing from Green Bellies, a San Diego company whose goal is to provide school children with great tasting, nutritious foods made from all natural ingredients. Prior to adding honey mustard dressing to our menu, students selected from Ranch or Italian dressing with Ranch being the overwhelming favorite. As students discover this delicious new dressing their perception of "salad" will certainly change. A national leader, San Diego Unified has had salad bars in its schools for more than a decade.
The second product is Teriyaki Flavored Organic Tofu from San Diego Soy Dairy. This is served on the Tofu Caesar Salad as a vegetarian alternative to Chicken Caesar Salad in middle and high schools. San Diego Soy Dairy is a "dairy-less dairy" that manufactures vegan, certified kosher tofu made from non-genetically modified soybeans. It has provided soy products to stores and restaurants throughout San Diego County since 1980.
"These new menu items will help our kids learn that the right choices for their nutrition can also taste great," said Petill. "in addition, by sourcing local, we help to keep jobs in San Diego and reduce the amount of long-distance trucks on the highway. It's good for our kids, good for our community and good for the planet."
Since 2010, more than a million pounds of local, regional and organic food has been served to San Diego Unified students. This has included apples from Julian, certified organic blackberries and other healthy fruits and vegetables grown in San Diego and California, brought fresh to Kids' Choice Cafés in elementary schools and SanDi Coast Cafés at middle and high schools.
"Tofu and salad dressing don't weigh much, but it will add to our overall total," said Petill.
For more information on Food Services or San Diego Unified's efforts to use locally sourced food whenever possible, contact Gary Petill, Director, Food and Nutrition Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.