Real, clean food for all
By: Sydney Douglas, Contributing Writer
The “Real Food Challenge” is a movement to bring more local, humane and ethical eating to Towson University, something the group calls “real food.”
“Our main initiative is to basically convert Towson’s budget from purchasing industrial farm food into purchasing more sustainable local humane food for our dining services,” junior biology major Haley Molnar said.
Senior and environmental studies major and founder of the TU group, Judith Rosenberg, started the campaign in 2013 with a small group of students. The campus group is a part of a national initiative with over 365 universities as part of the collective. A key goal of theirs is to make a billion dollar shift to supporting more real food.
“Because we’re students, we kind of pay a lot to the dining system,” Rosenberg said. “Therefore, we have a say in how our dining dollars are spent. Also, we’re in a really unique place here at the university because we’re in a consistent spot for four years where we have places to influence the dining.”
Next semester, the group plans to audit Towson’s dining services and the food invoices to assess whether Towson falls into the real food category.
The group is getting research credit from different departments at Towson for their action and has teamed up with professors and other groups, like Veg Club and Eco Reps.
“There are four categories that the national organization goes by: fair, ecological, humane and local,” Rosenberg said. “So, within each one of those, there’s specific qualifications that sort of identify a group or a product as being one of those.”
For the food to be considered “local,” it has to be with a certain distance from the source depending on the food. “Fair” is how the workers are treated and “humane” is the treatment of animals. “Ecological” is the environmental impact of agriculture in that it uses a big amount of resources to grow food.
“As far as next semester, we are planning sort of an awareness dinner with SGA,” Molnar said. “It will be a real food dinner welcoming all students to come and experience real food.”
The dinner will also provide a panel of speakers discussing issues surrounding food.
To become involved with real food challenge email firstname.lastname@example.org or like the Facebook page “Real Food Challenge Towson University” to stay updated with events.