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What is "Real Food"?

food  [food] n 1. something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies

real [ree-uhl, reel] adj 1. true and actual; not artificial

Real Food is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth.  It is a food system--from seed to plate--that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability.

Some people call it "local," "green," "slow," or "fair."  We use "Real Food" as a holistic term to bring together many of these diverse ideas people have about a values-based food economy (see our Real Food Wheel).

This is about more than supermarket labels. The Real Food Challenge has developed an innovative Real Food Calculator, which provides in-depth definitions of "real food" and a tracking system for institutional purchasing.  With this tool, "real food" is broken down into four core categories: local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane. Click here to learn more about the Real Food Calculator.