Currently, over $5 billion is spent annually on college and university campus food, the majority of which goes to large, industrial food companies. As we dive into our work with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to shift institutional buying to more local and sustainable food systems, we are celebrating the recent victory of the Real Food Challenge (RFC) in getting more healthy local food on college campuses. Last week, Sodexo, which provides contract food services on hundreds of campuses around the world, announced an agreement to begin using the Real Food Calculator, to assess their educational food service programs.
The calculator will be used at 600 college and 100 high school cafeterias to evaluate the food Sodexo serves on four key criteria: local and community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane. The calculator has been under pilot testing for the past three years and is an exciting innovation in the field of institutional food systems and sustainability. It allows food service professionals and consumers to perform detailed assessments of the food in their cafeterias and begin to identify opportunities to increase the purchase of “real food.” Congrats to Sodexo and the Real Food Challenge!