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"Labeling it Ourselves": With Real Food Calculator, students take Prop 37 into their own hands

on November 9, 2012

This blog post is from Hannah Wolfe and Katie Blanchard. Hannah is the National Food Day Coordinator, and Katie is the Midwest Regional Coordinator for Real Food Challenge.

As the defeat of Prop 37 is mourned in California and throughout the food movement, students are actually enacting it, continuing the hard work for food chain transparency that they started well before the Prop 37 battle entered the mainstream.
For 4 years, from coast to coast, students have created, piloted, and refined the Real Food Calculator, the most meticulous assessment tool for food procurement available.

4 Lessons from the largest student movement you’ve never heard of

on October 30, 2012

This blog post is from David Schwartz, Campaign Director at Real Food Challenge.

Over 40,000 students took action together last week and the mainstream media hardly covered it.  Surprised?

Northeastern University's Food Day event.

You shouldn’t be.  It wasn’t an Obama rally.  And it wasn’t a revolt in the Middle East. While media pundits were fixated on which candidate scored more cheap political points, an unprecedented number of college students came together with Real Food Challenge and Food Day for an incredible national day of action. The truth that motivated us is simple: if we ever hope to jumpstart the economy, become energy

286 college campuses to participate in Food Day

on October 24, 2012

286 Colleges Join Food Day

Student activists and university leaders educate campuses & make pledges to change food system as part of new grassroots campaign

National – On October 24, tens of thousands of students on over 270 college campuses in 46 states will take part in Food Day. On-campus events will range from cook-offs to local food banquets to movie screenings, with many campuses featuring the world premiere of Food Mythbusters, a new video series by Anna Lappédebunking the mainstream myths of corporate agriculture.

Food MythBusters is Coming

on October 22, 2012
This is an excerpt from a blog post about an upcoming video series called Food MythBusters. This project is a collaboration between many organizations and individuals in the food movement, led by RFC's own supporter and adviser Anna Lappé. Click here to read the full post on the Corporate Accountability International blog, and visit for more information.
I don’t know about you, but I’m increasingly frustrated by all this spin: by the ad campaigns, the trade-group public relations machines, the lobbying, the front groups—the myth-making.

The West Coast Reflects: Training 2012!

on October 13, 2012

This blog post comes from Chloé Rice, a 2012 Regional Field Organizer for the West Coast.

This year’s Summer Leadership Training was held at the lushly forested UC Santa Cruz campus back on Sept. 6-9. We’ve been busy putting plans made that weekend into action all over the region, but it’s never too late to reflect!

We spent 4 action-packed days at the Gatehouse on the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food System’s farm, carrying on their long-rooted history of student organized change—as it was students who organized and started what has now grown into a 25 acre university farm!

Mid-Atlantic Regional Training Report!

on August 29, 2012

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Training took place at the same time as our Northeast one, and was also a great success! We had an amazing time with all the participants, who were engaged in workshops and are pumped to start working for Real Food on their campuses!

Check out what Marissa Gibson-Garcia from Haverford College had to say about what she learned at our training:

"I felt an overwhelming sense of encouragement, and a push of hope, which was the beginning of the growth that I would experience throughout the weekend.

Of particular interest to me, going in to the training, was to learn about

Reporting Back from the Northeast Regional Training!

on August 28, 2012

This blog post comes from Leila Quinn, a 2012 Regional Field Organizer for the Northeast.

Thursday morning, August 16th was sunny and warm. Excitement ran high as we waited for our participants to arrive from all around the region. Students from Mount Holyoke, Wellesley, SUNY Fredonia, Clark, Dartmouth, University of Maine Orono, Bunker Hill, Tufts, Skidmore, Westfield State, Bennington, Roger Williams, and Oberlin came to learn about Real Food. After quick introductions we immediately began to examine the current state of the food system and more importantly learn tools to fix it!



A Week of Real Food -- RFC's First Summer Training

on July 23, 2012

The first week of classes may still be a ways off.  Most students are still in the thick of summer jobs an internships and vacations.  But here at Real Food Challenge, we're already getting cooking. 

This past week marked our third annual national training for a new class of Regional Field Organizing Fellows.  It was a week long retreat, readying these young food movement superstars for a year of learning, growing and organizing together.

This was just the first of nine amazing trainings happening all around the country Check 'em out and sign up for one near you.

In the Pacific Northwest, it’s school to farm, not farm to school!

on June 1, 2012



Working for product victories in Seattle and NW Washington has been an awful lot of talking about logistical (price, distribution, packaging…) considerations with distributors and university purchasing reps.  A couple months ago we ditched the conference table and brought the ‘suits’ (’s the Northwest...flannels) out to meet the producers! Destination: Whatcom County, WA. Stops: BellyTimberBars and TwinBrookCreamery –– two local producers with retail-ready products and a whetted appetite for institutional customers.

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My Visit to Peace Valley Farm

on March 5, 2012

By Celeste Berg, Williams College

“I used to not care, but now every living, breathing moment centers around the relationship we’ve built with Williams,” says Bill Stinson of nearby Peace Valley Farm. Although I’ve volunteered at Peace Valley a couple of fall mornings with my cross country team, motivation struck to pay the place an educational visit, and thus I found myself winding along muddy Treadwell Hollow Road to the picturesque yet desolate three acre farm. Sitting at the wood table in his rustic kitchen and clutching a ceramic mug of coffee, Bill Stinson described the modest beginning of his partnership with Williams. Transactions began in the 1980’s, but at this point in time Williams was merely a “dumping ground” for Stinson: he would offer the college leftover produce, and when proposition corresponded with institutional need, the exchange was beneficial for both parties. Today, a much more developed symbiotic relationship exists not only via sale and purchase, but also between Stinson and members of the college. In 1990, Peace Valley hosted its first intern from Williams, and since then, the farm has seen over 60 student interns during the summer months. Involvement has been multifaceted: students have stayed for various lengths of time, some residing with Stinson and his wife while they work the growing season, while others have served as liaisons between Williams College Dining Services and the cultivator, a rendition of the reputed “farm to table” experience. Indeed, Stinson credits these students, current director of Dining Services Bob Volpi, and his own personal efforts with fostering the relationship between his small farm and the high-powered organization of which we are a part.