Eat for the Earth Nutrition Programs

Providing Education and Practical Skills to Support Healthy Eating

A woman teaches a nutrition class.Eat for the Earth implements nutrition education to support individuals and groups to take control of their health through the adoption and maintenance of healthy diets. Our food philosophy and nutrition programs are evidence-based. We share the benefits of a whole food plant-exclusive, oil-free diet. We also encourage people to reduce or eliminate added salts.

Because our organization’s mission centers around environmental sustainability, we encourage people to take whatever steps they can towards a whole food plant-based oil-free lifestyle, even if that means reducing animal products. We recognize that it might be easier to get ten people to reduce than one person to go entirely plant-based. In terms of our organizational food policy, though, everything we serve and everything we teach is entirely whole plant foods, oil-free, with little to no added salt, and typically fruit-sweetened, if sweetened.

In addition to teaching whole food plant-based nutrition, our education programs also provide practical tools to help people incorporate healthy foods into their lives. For example, we provide food preparation demos and interactive classes, recipes, meal plans, and tips for including healthy food preparation into our participants full lives. Following are some of our current nutrition education offerings.



Women sit around a large table connecting and eating breakfast.Community Rx/Salud en tu Plato

Eat for the Earth offers a very successful nutrition education and diet immersion program. We call this program Salud en tu Plato when working with Spanish speakers, and Community Rx for English speakers. The program typically last two weeks. We start with an event at which we administer tests to assess biomarkers for health such as cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure. After testing, we provide a delicious whole food plant-based oil-free breakfast, as participants fast before coming. We invite participants to try out a healthy plant-based diet, and provide meal plans, recipes, and education over the ensuring two weeks to support their success. At the end of the two weeks, we repeat the testing and breakfast and counsel participants about their results.

The program is open to everyone, but we have strategically chosen to primarily target marginalized communities in our outreach. The program was originally inspired by an immersion created by PlantPure Communities, and we have made extensive customization to insure cultural relevancy, accessibility, and effectiveness with Latinos, the most marginalized communities within Santa Cruz County. For example, smart phones are ubiquitous within our target populations, but the capacity to access online programs is not nearly as common. So during the program, we provide educational content via daily texts containing links to food demonstrations, short nutrition lessons, and other materials. We partner with organizations that serve Latinos, for example clinics serving primarily monolingual Spanish-speakers with low incomes and nonprofit organizations that work with these populations.

Our results have been outstanding. Participants report feeling better shortly after they start the diet. For example, we hear from people who have more energy, reduced inflammation, better sleep and digestion, and less anxiety. Biometric data also reflect improvements over the short course of the program. Almost everyone who completes the program has improvements in at least one biomarker, and many people have several improvements. Numerous participants who start with extremely high LDL levels drop to very healthy levels, for example, and we have had many people with diabetes bring their blood glucose down into the normal range.

For more information and to get on the interest list, check out our pages for Community Rx and Salud en tu Plato.



Students pose for a photo with the sauerkraut they just made in class.Food Preparation and Nutrition Classes

Our classes incorporate various combinations of elements including demonstration, hands-on-learning, nutrition information, preparation tips, tasty recipes, techniques for making over unhealthy recipes, and more. From 2020 through 2022, classes were exclusively held online. In 2023, in-person classes resumed in the Santa Cruz County area. Classes cover a variety of topics, often being centered around a certain type of dish, such as soups and stews or salads and dressings. Other classes may focus on a specific food tradition, such as Mexican food or Indian food, or on foods suited to a particular holiday or season of the year. Our whole food plant-based artisanal cheese class is especially popular, but all classes find resonance with participants who are delighted to learn how to make food that is good for them, good for the Earth, and good for all Lifekind. For upcoming classes, check out our Eventbrite page.



Community Presentations

Eat for the Earth staff and volunteers are available to offer nutrition education presentations and healthy food preparation demos to schools, businesses, community groups, and others. Please contact us if you would like a powerful, fun, and informative presentation!



Contact Us!

If you are interested in learning more about our work, partnering with us, supporting our nutrition education programs, or finding out how you can start similar programs in your community, please fill out this contact form and we will respond as soon as possible.

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