Johns Hopkins University recently announced a brand new food strategy for the school: by the year 2020, about one third of the food served will come from “local, sustainable, humane and fair-trade” sources. According to the Baltimore Sun,
“In six years, the college plans to increase its servings of local, sustainably grown food to 35 percent of all ingredients, becoming one of a handful of universities nationwide to make such a commitment about its cuisine.
“The move comes at a time of growing interest in where food comes from and how it is grown. More than a dozen small urban farms are scattered throughout Baltimore, including one started by Hopkins students on its nearby Eastern campus on 33rd Street.”
Johns Hopkins president Ronald J. Daniels called the move a “significant investment” into the health of students, faculty, and staff, demonstrating the school’s “commitment, as the city’s largest private employer, to sustaining the community we all call home.”
This bold move will make it easier for students, faculty, and staff to be healthier; it will also be a boon to the local economy while at the same time helping out good old Mother Earth. Local and independently owned farms will be providing a large amount of food to Johns Hopkins, business that would have otherwise gone to large industrial farms and corporations.
The Real Food Challenge is the organization behind this major push for schools to serve “real” food over junk food. The group’s primary goal is to shift $1 billion or more of existing school food budgets over to sources of “real food.” Johns Hopkins’ plan was originally a student-led initiative that was signed into effect in November. What’s even better is that the original plan called for a 20% food switchover, and President Ronald J. Daniels “red-penned” that number and replaced it with 35% at a dinner celebrating the agreement.