Nutrition and Dietetics
Local; Regional; Food; Health; Sustainability; Real
Over the past decade sustainability has become more than just a buzzword at the University of Rhode Island. We have adapted it into the fabric of our school and created a student body that is focused on the health of our future, on promoting environmental, social and economic prosperity that is created and sustained by action on a local level. In other words, we have realized that before we can “Think Big”, we have to first consider the impact our actions have on every level of society. This project focuses on how the action of eating is a direct reflection to the kind of future we wish to create. The aim is to bring “The Real Food Challenge” (RFC) to our campus. This is a campaign that provides support to universities who are looking to create a healthy, fair and green food system. This is accomplished by petitioning to the president of the college to sign “The Real Food Campus Commitment”. The commitment is a documented pledge saying that our campus intends to purchase 20% of our food from regionally sourced producers.
This project aims to unite student run organizations such as; Slow Food, The Agriculture Club, Student Action for Sustainability, The Animal Veterinary Science Club, and many others, in educating and petitioning for the increase of local food at URI. This has been accomplished by hosting events supporting sustainable food systems, administering a survey and collecting signatures for an ever-growing petition. While observing schools like UMass Amherst and The University of Vermont, whom have already committed to this campaign, it was found that the RFC has been a success and the pledge for 20% real food is a reasonable request. These schools stressed that the engagement of the student body and the support of faculty is the key to sustaining the RFC on college campuses. This project is meant to connect the students of URI to their food and to encourage them to challenge the University to support a more sustainable food system through the increase of local purchasing and the decrease in support to large-scale industries.