Real Food at NU kickstarts quarter with new plans


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Sargent dining hall will participate in new “real food” events fall quarter. The student group Real Food at NU, aims to have 20 percent of food served in dining halls contain “real ingredients” by 2020.

Audrey Wu, Reporter

Real Food at NU will roll out three new programs this Fall Quarter to raise awareness and increase the amount of “real food” at Northwestern.

“These plans aim to better engage NU students in food-related discussions,” said McCormick senior Kara Rodby, the group’s co-president. “This is really exciting, and it will be a good way to engage with all the students in the dining hall.”

Real Food is a student group that aims to increase the percentage of fairly- and sustainably-produced food on campus. With its three new events — “Real Food Days,” “Food Week” and “Food and Friends” — group leaders hope students will better understand the food choices they make every day. During Spring Quarter last year, dining halls served “real food” on only two days. This quarter, “Real Food Days” will take place once a month, Rodby said.

In addition to “Real Food Days,” the group will organize “Food Week” later this month. This year, it will be held in collaboration with other organizations such as Wild Roots, Engineers for a Sustainable World and Campus Kitchens, Rodby said.

“It’s a fun way to collaborate with more student groups and engage with students who aren’t normally thinking about food,” Rodby said.

Real Food’s “Food and Friends” will be a big meal with the theme of community, said Amos Pomp, a member of Real Food. The group aims to attract and provide food for 150 students.

The event is meant to attract students who have not previously engaged with this topic, Rodby said.

Medill sophomore Morgan McFall-Johnsen, the group’s co-director, said progress has been made toward the group’s goal of having 20 percent of food served in dining halls contain “real ingredients” by 2020. Although last quarter’s focus was convincing the University to sign a campus commitment to this goal, this quarter’s focus has shifted toward taking tangible steps to reach it.

The group also recently submitted a proposal for a student-organized seminar titled “Navigating Modern Food Ethics.” Members of the group said they are excited and optimistic about the group’s future.

“We are a passionate group with reinforcing energy doing actual work on campus,” Rodby said. “(As a member), you can tangibly feel like we are going to effect change.”

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