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240. Transforming the School Food System with Nora LaTorre & Erin Primer of Eat REAL #FabulousFriends
Episode 2403rd March 2023 • Be Well by Kelly Leveque • Kelly Leveque
00:00:00 01:01:45

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On today's podcast, we chat with two amazing women about a nonprofit that has quickly grown near and dear to my heart, Eat REAL. I’m joined by Nora LaTorre, the CEO of Eat REAL. Nora is currently working with over 500 schools to solve the root cause of the health crisis facing our children, and has a rapidly scaling climate change solution to boot.

Joining her is Erin Primer, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at SanLuis Coastal Unified School District, located in Central California. Erin brings over fifteen years of experience in the food industry, ranging from high quality catering to hospitals and universities. With two young children of her own, she is passionate about upgrading the food that is served in cafeterias across the country. 

Together, they have removed fifteen pounds of consumed sugar per kid in Erin's school district while reallocating funds to local vendors supplying one hundred percent grass-fed beef burgers (served up every week), local olive oil, kiwis, and more.

Eat REAL has a goal to shift $1B of school food purchasing power by 2025 to greener, more sustainable, healthier meals so every child can flourish. If you're interested in making change at the district level or in supporting policy change here in California or throughout the United States, head to and see how you can get involved.

We also cover…

00:04:19 — Transforming Food Programs in Schools

  • How Eat REAL increases awareness and access to real food in school cafeterias
  • The power behind supporting local businesses & advocating for change
  • Who can participate in being an agent of change
  • Sharing the story behind Eat REAL — small steps to achieve big change
  • Swapping packaged, processed foods, and centralized distribution to local farmers
  • How to create a local, diversified food portfolio, and move dollars to your local market
  • Integrating food products that are abundant and accessible in your area

00:20:49 — Setting Better Food Standards for Kids

  • Boundaries on  sugar intake for kids
  • Debunking Food Industry Myths with Dr. Robert Lustig #157
  • Eat REAL’s food values and certification standards for schools
  • How parents can advocate for alignment on rules and regulations of school lunches
  • Specialty food companies that are conscious about limiting sugar in their products
  • Primal Kitchen and Serenity Kids
  • Viewing schools as the largest leverage point in our food system to impact kids’ health
  • Eat REAL’s assessment process – valuing nutrition & sustainability

00:36:24 — More Plants Please: Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits & Veggies

00:47:21 — Making Higher Food Standard Policy Changes on a National & State Level

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Be Well By Kelly is produced by Crate Media.

Mentioned in this episode:

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BWBK Protein Powder | Get $10 off your order with PODCAST10 at




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