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New School Year, New Team: Keeping It Real

on September 23, 2011

Who's behind the Real Food Challenge?  Who's been planning the 6 regional trainingsthis summer?  Who's behind the big Food Day mobilization?  Who's your biggest ally in making real food change on your campus?

These guys:

Estefanía Narváez, Northeast Coordinator


Estefania graduated in December 2010 from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, which she mobilized to become one of the first Fair Trade Universities in the country.Being born and raised in Ecuador nurtured her lifelong concern for justice.

Arrest Does Not Stop Food and Freedom Ride

on September 23, 2011

By Anim Steel via Civil Eats

When we took the Freedom Rides as inspiration, we didn’t actually expect to have a run-in with Mississippi police. Our journey, the Food and Freedom Ride, was about honoring the anniversary of a heroic journey while also drawing attention to one of the biggest issues facing our generation: the dearth of real food in our communities and the resulting health, environmental, and economic crises.

On Friday, August 5th, two days before the Food and Freedom Ride began, one of the riders, Courtney Oats, was arrested on a charge of “disorderly conduct” in her hometown of


on September 23, 2011

Oxfam calls for investigation into forced eviction of more than 20,000 Ugandans to make way for international company’s plantations

[Re-posted from Oxfam America]

Washington, D.C.- The fast growing pace of land deals brokered around the world  often comes at the expense of poor communities who lose their homes and livelihoods – sometimes violently – with no prior consultation, compensation or means of appeal, says a new report released today by international relief and development organization Oxfam. 

In developing countries as many as 560 million acres of land, an area greater than the size of California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming combined, have been sold, leased or licensed in large-scale land deals since 2001, mostly by international investors, according to the report Land and Power.

Lack of transparency and secrecy that surrounds these deals makes it difficult to get exact figures but preliminary research suggests that half of these acquisitions are in Africa, and cover an area nearly the size of Germany. However, many of the deals are in fact ‘land grabs’ where the rights and needs of the people living on the land are ignored, leaving them homeless and without land to grow enough food to eat and make a living.

[watch the video, right, for more]

“Land investment should be good news for people in poverty, but the frenetic scramble for land risks taking development in reverse,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, President of Oxfam America. “Investors have increasingly set their sights on land often ignoring the people who live there and depend on it to survive.  This unprecedented drive is leaving many of the world’s poorest people worse, not better-off.”

Food Day Blog Series: Looking Deeper into the Importance of Food Day

on September 21, 2011
Taylor Owen is a guest blogger from Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota and he is also a Campus Coordinator for Food Day. Below is the first post in a blog series leading up to October 24 in which he will be reflecting on his work and the importance of the food movement.
When I first heard about Food Day, my interest was instantly intrigued. As I imagine most people involved in the Real Food Challenge are, I have been concerned more and more with the issues of food.

Food Day Blog Series: What does it look like to become invested in the real food movement?

on September 14, 2011

Jessica Baltmanas is a guest blogger from University of California, San Diego and also a Campus Coordinator for Food Day! Below is the first of a three part blog series leading up to October 24 in which she will walk us through her journey in the real food movement. 


My journey into real food began at the age of 5. While my parents moved from Brooklyn to San Diego by car, my sister and I stayed with our grandparents in Vilnius, Lithuania.

On Persuasion and Vegan Dining Halls in Texas

on September 9, 2011

By Janani Bala, Regional Field Organizer, CA

Last month, the University of North Texas (get ready for it) opened the first all-vegan dining hall in the country.  At the same time, the university opened another dining hall that features Southern comfort food.  According to University of North Texas Dining services manager Ken Botts, in an interview with Inside Higher Ed, the intention of either dining hall was not to make particular political statements, nor create a vegan food vs. fried chicken showdown.

Student Leaders Gear Up as the USDA Bails Out Chicken Industry: a reminder of why we work

on August 31, 2011

By Stephanie Fisher

Throughout August and September, the Real Food Challenge is hosting regional summer trainings for student leaders all across the country.  Student leaders will be participating in intensive, four-day trainings as they prepare for a jam-packed year ahead of them. Come September, they’ll embark on a year filled with campaigning and strategizing on their campuses.

Food Day New Haven: A Holistic Celebration of Food!

on August 29, 2011

Guest Blog Post by:

Susannah Albert-Chandhok,Yale Grassroots Leader & Food Day Campus Coordinator


What would it take to create a food system that promotes global nourishment and environmental sustainability?


This real food change would take national progress and fe
deral modification in modern food policy, but to make a shift in how we eat, we need a grassroots start.
We need a local impetus for a real food change.
The grassroots movement can flourish into abundant action on college campuses, and some of the most successful movements towards a better food system

Forging Forward With Food Day

on August 15, 2011
Guest Blog Post by:
Raychel Santo, Grassroots Leader and Co-founder of Real Food Hopkins
As many other Real Food Challenge chapters across the country, my school's group, Real Food Hopkins, was newly formed last year. Consolidating the efforts of some student gardeners already on campus, as well as the food advocacy interests of many freshman including myself, Real Food Hopkins emerged as a recognized student group by the beginning of November.
However, with harvest season at its end and planting season long off in the spring, our group knew we needed some evens for the interim to get

Need Some Help Brainstorming a Food Day Event? Look No Further!

on July 25, 2011

We've decided to keep the details of Food Day events open to the creativity and needs of each student group and campus. While this means some of our Campus Coordinators are having a hard time narrowing down 6 events to 1, others don't know where to start. If the latter is how you feel, no worries - we've got some ideas for you!


Questions to ask yourself before thinking about planning a Food Day event:

       1. What is the most pressing issue concerning real food on my campus?

       2. What is the most logical, but fun, way to address this?

       3. What is the best way to engage a wide