College students: Serve us real food, please

Over the next couple of weeks, students will once again fill America’s college and university campuses—and they’ll be hungry. The cost to feed them? Five billion dollars, reports. But the health, social and environmental cost of most campus dining may be even higher than the monetary one, with the vast majority of that sum going to agribusinesses and junk food makers. What is needed, some say, is an influx of food to campuses that takes into account a concern for producers, consumers, communities, and the Earth.

“The issue is so potent because when students arrive on campus, especially freshmen, you’re forced to eat their meal plan,” says David Schwartz, cofounder and campaign director of the Real Food Campaign, a nationwide movement that works with young people to transform the food system. “We see it as a total right that students should have a say of what we put in our bodies.”

The primary goal of the Real Food Campaign (which is a program of Boston-based The Food Project) is to get colleges and universities to shift $1 billion nationally—just 20 percent of the total spending—from industrial food systems to “local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources”—what it calls “real food”—by 2020……Read More