October is Farm to School Month in Georgia, and in celebration Georgia Organics is promoting a program called Lettuce Try It. Lettuce Try It provides resources and materials for schools and helps parents plan pro-lettuce activities for their kids. Lettucise taste tests anyone?
So, why the fuss over lettuce? A few things that you might not know, but should know about lettuce (and Georgia):
- Leafy greens meet school meal requirements. Romaine, mesclun, spinach, kale, and other kinds of lettuces satisfy the Dark Leafy Greens subgroup in USDA school meal regulations.
- Georgians eat more than 285 million pounds of lettuce a year, but right now we grow less than one-tenth of 1% of that.
- If all the lettuce consumed by Georgians were produced and sold in the state, it would mean an additional $83.6 million of direct revenue for farmers.
- There are lots of great varieties of lettuce that grow well in Georgia. It’s also an easy crop for school gardens to plant in the fall and harvest before the winter break.
- Lettuce has a longer shelf life if bought locally.
- Lettuce is a nutritious vegetable being served in lots of school cafeterias, but not all students are eating it yet.
If you’re not eating your share of local lettuce, you need to start. It’s good for you, and it’s good for your local economy.
* Source of lettuce facts came straight from the Georgia Organics website via cut and paste.