July 14 2009, 9:59 AM
The healthy-lunch revolution began in Berkeley with culinary gurus like Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and Ann Cooper, a former professional chef and the brain behind Berkeley's reconcepted school lunches. It recently spread to Colorado, when Boulder Valley schools hired Cooper to reinvent their meal service for the coming school year. And starting next month, Revolution Foods (also a Bay area company) will bring its organic, homemade meals into Denver schools. Revolution Foods set up shop three years ago, servicing charter schools, summer schools, and head-start programs. Since then it has expanded its reach to entire school districts, including the Santa Cruz City schools. The company plans to take the same approach to growth in Colorado, first introducing its fresh meals (like barbecue chicken and corn, or fresh noodles and bok choy) into alternative schools, then going mainstream. (So far the company reports a lot of local interest.) Revolution Foods has a key partnership with Whole Foods, which provides products for the company's lunches when it can. When it can't, the grocer connects the healthy-eats company with suppliers. So when kids are eating a peach in their Rev Foods lunch, they are enjoying the very same product that shoppers pick from Whole Foods' shelves. In the context of school lunches, this is almost ideal. Although Revolution Foods may be in its Denver infancy, the company promises great potential for local students' nutrition.