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From Small Town, Midwest -- a new idea to take on Big Ag [VIDEO]

on November 11, 2013

Written by Katie Blanchard, Midwest Regional Coordinator. Click here to watch "Real Food, Our Future" - RFC's crowdfunding campaign video.

Growing up in a small town in northern Michigan, I learned that big, important things happen in other places. Sitcoms and movies did not take place near our cornfields or cherry orchards. The news was always about other places, unless it was about people losing their jobs. Being successful meant leaving town.

Rural population in the US has declined for most of my lifetime, for myriad reasons.

Two Weeks to Take Back Our Food System: Why FSMA matters & how to take action NOW!

on November 4, 2013

This post is from Katie Blanchard, aspiring farmer and Real Food Challenge Coordinator. Follow her on Twitter.

On November 15, time is up on public participation in the first modernization of food safety standards in the US since the 1930s.

Signed into law in 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) tasked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with creating rules for implementing the law. The proposed rules are currently open for public comment.

Wondering what I’m even talking about? You’re not alone.

Put most simply, we’re talking about hundreds of pages written in Washington that mean

For Our Future: Students Reflect on Real Food Rising

on October 29, 2013

Don't take our word for it -- here are three students' reflections on their experience from Real Food Rising, Real Food Challenge's third national summit:

Addison Del Mastro from Drew University (Madison, NJ)

I am writing this partly for a wide audience, to bring our message to more people who may not be in the food movement. I am writing partly for the people who are in the food movement, as a sort of reflection of our progress thus far. And, to be honest, I am writing it also for myself, to try and set down in writing while I still can what an incredible experience Real Food Rising was.

Real Food, Our Future: New crowdfunding campaign to mobilize the Midwest!

on October 27, 2013

Maybe you've seen them in a documentary -- the cornfields that stretch hours in all directions.

But, if don't live here, you might not understand the real story – the quiet collapse of rural communities under the weight of industrial agriculture. You'd notice it in the brown cornhusks of a 3-year drought, the agrochemical-poisoned groundwater, the scores of injured processing plant workers, the depopulating farming communities.

Dissatisfied with Farm Bill, students take food policy into own hands on Food Day 2013

on October 20, 2013




Tuesday, October 22nd          


 Kate Klein, 770-714-9951

  David Schwartz, 401-601-5545




Dissatisfied with Farm Bill, students take food policy into own hands on Food Day 2013


At students’ urging, 3 major universities commit to purchase millions in just and sustainable food; thousands more raise awareness, declaring #TheRealFoodMovementIsHere

NATIONAL -- Disappointed by the lack of effective farm and food policy nationwide, this Food Day (October 24th) students from 350 colleges and universities nationwide will

Northeastern Commits to 20% by 2020!

on October 19, 2013

After word broke loose in July that Northeastern verbally commited to source 20% real food by 2020, President Auon signed the Real Food Commitment on Thursday, October 17, as one of Northeastern's Food Day events.

"We're so excited about Northeastern signing onto the commitment because it's setting a precedent for other schools in Boston as well as large urban universities across the country," Catherine Aust, a student organizer involved with the campaign at NEU notes.

10 Moments to Remember from #RealFoodRising

on October 18, 2013

Last weekend students from around the country traveled by planes, trains, busses and cars to sleep on church floors and dive into the nuts and bolts of our food system. We lived together, ate together, and learned together how we can continue to change the narrative of the food in this country. Here are some top moments from #RealFoodRising:

1. Students filling the room on the first night with enthusiasm for the weekend ahead and an eagerness to learn!

2. So many hugs!

3. Telling stories, naming challenges, and sharing the inspiration that fuels our work

4. Meals shared: home cooked food

Reflections on the Wheel

on October 3, 2013

With just eight days until Real Food Rising, we are reflecting a lot on our work, the food justice movement, and the part we play in transforming this society. One of our Southeast Field Organizers, Manasa Kanithi, recently wrote a blog post on the beauty of the Real Food Wheel, and the role it has played in her personal journey.

Do you have stories about the real food wheel? How has it helped you understand the food movement?

Here's a snipet from her blog:

The Biggest Attack On Food Justice You’ve Never Heard Of

on September 26, 2013

Post written by Natalie Yoon from United Students for Fair Trade

Although many don’t know it, the food justice movement is facing a colossal monster that not only threatens our global food system, but also undermines our ability to fight for change. It is disguised as “free trade agreement”. Before you fall asleep at the sound of “trade agreement”, read on because this will affect you, me, and social justice movements around the world.

It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and it’s is a massive new free trade agreement that the U.S. is negotiating with 11 other countries around the Pacific. It’s the most ambitious trade agreement in history, encompassing 40% of the global economy. Corporate advisors have been writing the TPP, while the public has been completely left in the dark. You can probably guess what that means: great for big business, catastrophe for people and the planet. Among the many destructive impacts the TPP would have--including attacks on labor rights, access to medicine, financial regulation, and environmental protection-- one of the most concerning is its potential effect on the global food supply.

One Month Out: The Power of #CampusFoodDay

on September 24, 2013

Written by Kate Klein, Food Day Coordinator


When I first heard about Real Food Challenge, I didn’t really get it. We’re trying to get local and organic food in the dining hall? I can’t get behind that. There are way bigger problems out there!

Then one day, it hit me: my monthly food budget was rather measly compared to my university’s million dollar one. The defiant absence of factory-farmed chicken on my grocery receipt was not going to even graze Tyson’s outermost orbits of awareness, but a sizable reduction in my university’s Tyson orders very well may. As the largest meat producer in the world, Tyson is not only able to sentence millions of animals to a caged, antibiotic-pumped existence, but also hold a tight grip on farmers, keeping them often in an inescapable debt while barely paying them enough to get by. Alone, I couldn’t really do all that much to change this incredible injustice -- but with my peers, I began to see how I could.