Recognizing this opportunity, central components of Eat Real’s Certification program focus on helping school districts source more sustainably and reduce wasted food. For example, we help school districts re-localize their food sourcing by shifting purchasing away from large foodservice companies and focusing more on buying from local farmers selling in-season produce. This helps drastically reduce the number of transportation miles it takes to get food from farm to fork. In fact, researchers estimate that carbon emissions from transporting food are about 6% of the global total.
But creating more sustainable school meals is about much more than simply where food is sourced from. Across our partner school districts, there is also a commitment to minimizing food waste by adopting practices like bulk stations, share tables, and compost programs that help keep as much food as possible out of landfills.