Real food is key to building a healthy and vibrant future for our children and their environment. Eat REAL defines real food as whole foods, prepared healthfully and sourced sustainably. We help schools transform their foodservice programs so they optimize nutrition and minimize environmental impact.
Real Food For Our Health
When we eat real food, we feel better, function better, and our children can learn, grow, and thrive. Minimally processed foods give us energy, promote healthier organs, improve our metabolic health, and increase longevity. Proper nutrition helps our bodies build resiliency against the flu, COVID-19, and other infections while reducing our risk of developing processed food-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.
Real Food For Our Planet
Processed foods have a considerable negative impact on our environment. In fact, food production is responsible for ¼ of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Every step of our food chain – mass production, processing, packaging, and shipping – releases some amount of GHGs into the atmosphere. Food that’s grown, harvested, and prepared for consumption responsibly using regenerative practices is vital to environmental sustainability. Responsibly produced foods, like locally grown organic produce and free-range, grass-fed animal protein, reduce carbon emissions, create healthier soils, and help restore our ecosystems.
Real Food In Our Schools
Kids need nutrient-rich, real foods to set them up for success in the classroom and beyond. Multiple studies have indicated that when kids have access to healthful food, they perform better in school and on tests while having fewer disciplinary problems. American public schools serve five billion meals each year – transforming their foodservice programs can ensure children have healthier, longer lifespans and more success in a sustainable world.
Many schools are already doing incredible work to ensure the meals they serve are healthful for students and the planet. The School Food Project at Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) serves nearly 14,000 scratch-cooked meals every day using fresh, nutritious, and local ingredients. Vacaville Unified School District has continued to serve thousands of students scratch-made and locally sourced breakfasts and lunches every day, even as they participated in remote learning.
Friends of the Earth recently released an Organic School Food Roadmap to help school foodservice teams incorporate more organic ingredients in their menus. Organic, plant-forward, and locally sourced scratch-cooked meals prioritize students’ health, support local farmers, and help restore our earth.
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