April is Earth Month, and this Thursday, April 22nd, is Earth Day! The theme of Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth™ and will consist of three days of climate action. We love celebrating Earth Day because it underscores the work we do all year to create a more sustainable world and restore our environment.
All Eat REAL Certified schools must meet ten nutritional and sustainability standards. We help schools prioritize scratch cooking and incorporate more real, whole food items on their breakfast and lunch menus. Why? Because real food is better for the health of people and the planet.
Food production is responsible for ¼ of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Processed foods are energy-intensive to produce, often packaged in plastic, and can contain chemical additives that are harmful to human health and the environment. Our program encourages menu planning and ingredient sourcing that minimizes the environmental impact of food production, including local, sustainably grown produce and seasonal ingredients. By the spring of 2025, Eat REAL Certified schools have the potential to provide more than 86 million plant-forward lunches, which could save 200,982,718 lbs of CO2 emissions – that’s the equivalent of planting 4.2 million trees!
In addition to how food is grown, food waste is a massive problem for the environment. According to the FDA, food waste is estimated to be at 30-40% of our food supply. Our program helps schools reduce food waste and develop responsible waste management programs. We also encourage recycling and the use of reusable and compostable service trays.
Check out this research from Cady, one of our amazing summer interns from last year, to learn more about food waste:
Eat REAL is a 1% For the Planet Nonprofit Partner!
Eat REAL is proud to be part of the 1% For The Planet network, which connects businesses with nonprofits to protect the planet. Companies that belong to the network can name Eat REAL as their beneficiary when they make the pledge – this helps support our work creating a healthier planet for the next generation through food system transformation by helping schools provide healthier and more sustainable options to their students.
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