Did you know that the most powerful tool we have against climate change is right at our fingertips? Your fork and how you choose to use it can make a huge difference in the global fight against the climate crisis. Eat Real is working to address both climate change and our child nutrition crisis by transforming the seven billion public school meals (and forks!) served each year to be nutritious, delicious and climate friendly.
Last November on a cold day in Boston, Eat Real CEO Nora LaTorre took this message to the inaugural TEDx Planetary Stewardship Conference. She gave her first TED talk along with many other thought leaders and activists in the climate change field. With the goal to spotlight and activate powerful ideas to shape the future of global society and the planet, the conference was attended by more than 2700 attendees and offered 100 talks, including those given by Eat Real Board of Directors member Tesha McCord Poe and major advocate Chef Tu David Phu.
Eat Real was proud to have its mission shared as a featured talk on the main stage at this inaugural event. The TEDx Planetary Stewardship Conference hoped to build a world class portfolio of innovators who will foster systemic changes in policy, narrative and implementation to create conditions to motivate individuals to action. Using compelling data and images, Nora passionately shared Eat REAL’s message and gave out bamboo fork-business cards to inspire all to get involved.
In her talk, Nora recalls the first time climate change became personal for her: a moment frozen in time for many in the Bay Area when the skies above turned bright orange. Unfortunately, it is now our common reality that all of us will have a climate change moment if we haven’t already. Climate change impacts us in many ways: physically, financially, even emotionally. As we already experienced this year in California, home to many Eat REAL team members, over 32 trillion gallons of rain has fallen since the end of December blanketing the state and causing damage that could cost up to $1 billion dollars to repair. Yet even with this deluge, all of California still remains in moderate drought with nearly half of California still in severe drought conditions. As Nora noted, eco-anxiety is a real thing: fear of what our future will look like, for us and for future generations, as climate change continues to impact all parts of our lives. Fortunately, we do have a solution, and it’s on our plate. Not only is whole, real food good for our mental health, it is also good for our planet.
Eat REAL knows that the choices we make with our forks are both an incredibly impactful and unique strategy to ensuring a future where both our children and planet flourishes. By focusing on plant-based meals, increasing local sourcing, reducing food waste, and purchasing more regenerative organic ingredients, we ensure that our school meals are a climate solution.
“Greening school meals are a climate moonshot”
– Eat Real CEO Nora LaTorre
It’s very exciting to feel the momentum around our work and our mission grow. At the end of 2022, we received a major grant from Battery Powered to continue scaling our program. The impactful Farm to School Grant we received from the California Department of Farming and Agriculture will help us expand our programing in nine partner school districts. A huge thank you to both of these organizations for supporting and funding our work.
We all want healthy kids and a healthy planet. Your support helps us achieve this vision. Thank you for taking the time to watch this TED talk and we encourage you to share it with your community and on your social media channels! We look forward to continuing the work with you this year.