Students Heather Krieger '14, Carly Poremba '15, Zach Dix '15, and Victoria Blumenfeld '16 attended the Real Food Rising conference in Minneapolis on Oct. 11-13. The trip was made possible by funding from the President's Office.
The conference, held at the University of Minnesota, gathered 250 college students from across the country to discuss the campaign for real food on college campuses and ways to achieve a more sustainable future. The summit consisted of seminars with farmers and food service workers, discussions on strategies for successful campaigns, and analyses of farm-to-institution techniques. The conference aimed to promote solidarity between students while using food as a lens to tackle issues of social and environmental justice.
The Real Food Challenge is a campaign to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrially-produced food and towards food that is "real" -- local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane -- by 2020. While other schools are forming commitments with their food service providers to sign for 20% real food on campus by 2020, Hamilton has already reached that goal as of 2012.
Hamilton food service provider Bon Appetit is making an effort in the real food campaign by sourcing cage-free and humane eggs, purchasing local apples, buying humanely produced beef, local dairy, and varieties of lettuce from Ithaca. The Real Food Challenge group on campus hopes to sign a commitment with Bon Appétit and the President's Office for a percentage greater than 20% real food by 2020, which will help designate Hamilton as a leading institution in sustainability.