Here's one of the surest signs we have that swift and substantial progress in school food is possible: Beginning this fall, the nation's largest district will not only be serving on compostable plates, but actually composting them. The introduction of the new tableware is occurring simultaneously with a city-wide ban on most single-use, non-recyclable Styrofoam—a giant first step in Mayor Bill DeBlasio's ambitious "Zero Waste" campaign. Astonishingly, this story begins just six years ago, with a grassroots collaboration with the city's Department of Education, spearheaded by artist and NYC parent Debby Lee Cohen. "I think what we learned," she reflects today, "is that this is how democracy is supposed to work."