University embraces real food challenge
Towson University students have recently gotten involved with the Real Food Challenge and its efforts to improve the sustainability of the food served on college campuses.
“The Real Food Challenge is a national student organization that works with college students to get their schools committed to more local and sustainable food on campus,” Real Food Challenge Mid-Atlantic regional coordinator Jon Berger said. “Students are going through purchasing invoices from the dining hall, going line by line looking at each purchase and trying to find out where it comes from, how it was produced and whether it meets the standards that we set for the Real Food Calculator.”
In order to achieve this, members of the University’s Real Food group have required assistance from University Dining Services and Chartwells.
“Dining Services has been very nice to us. They have worked with us really well, they’ve been a great partner,” Real Food group member and sophomore environmental studies major Judith Rosenberg said. “And they’ve actually allowed us to have access to that information and have been working with us to go through this process, because without them we wouldn’t be able to do that.”
Rosenberg also stressed the importance of the Real Food Challenge as a national effort.
According to an April 8 press release, over 130 schools have gotten involved with the Real Food Challenge, 22 of which have also signed the Real Food Campus Commitment, pledging to buy at least 20 percent student-designated “real food” annually by 2020. So far, the only Maryland university to do so is Johns Hopkins, which has pledged to purchase 35 percent “real food.”
“It’s important to fight for justice on your own campus and better food and things like that, but if we all fight as a nation for those better health and environmental impacts, then we can force that industry to move in that direction,” Rosenberg said.