Wesleyan to Pledge Increase in “Real Food” to 20% for 2020
On Saturday, April 21, President Michael Roth and Resident District Manager of Bon Appétit Michael Strumpf plan to sign a pledge stating that, by 2020, the University will increase its use of organic and local food to 20 percent. The pledge was created by the Real Food Challenge, a campaign to increase the procurement of “real food” on college and university campuses.
The Real Food Challenge defines “real food” as local or community based, fair, ecologically sound, and/or humane according to the Real Food Calculator. The calculator is set to compile assessment results in an annual progress report, which will be available online.
The University chose to become involved with the movement when the student group WesFresh approached President Michael Roth.
“Students brought me a proposal that showed the target number, and it seemed like something we could, and should, try to do,” Roth said. “Bringing food to the table is an educational enterprise—becoming more aware of where our food comes from and how to be more responsive to the impact of our dining services on our environment seems like something we should all learn about, and setting a target at the time seemed like a reasonable thing.”
Strumpf said that Bon Appétit with University students, such as Manon Lefevre ’14, had been in contact about participating in the Real Food Calculator, and stated that there was a very positive and open relationship between students and the Bon Appétit staff.
“It’s very transparent,” Strumpf said.
He added that while some other colleges and universities have gotten involved with the campaign, this was the first Bon Appétit account to participate in the Real Food Challenge.
Roth said he was appreciative of Bon Appétit's efforts.
“Bon Appétit is actually very eager to cooperate in having real food and learning about how to make a contribution to that,” he said.