At Yale University you will find grass-fed hamburgers, organic tomato sauce, low-fat milk from a cooperative and fair trade coffee and teas in the school cafeterias.
Food has become a new focus at Yale and elsewhere, with students pushing their schools to use their substantial purchasing power and influence to buy locally grown and organic produce. This campaign is for food that is healthier, supports sustainable agriculture and reduces transport fuel while also assisting the local economy its struggling smaller-scale farmers.
Many colleges are starting to listen to these calls for change, becoming more careful about their purchases or developing a purchasing policy, providing courses and conferences on sustainable agriculture for the first time and some are even starting organic farms in cities.
“We’re trying to change the culture of food on college campuses around the country,” said Laura Hess of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. “We believe the world’s most pressing questions and problems cannot be adequately addressed without looking at food and the way we produce it.”
Yale will hold a first-of-its-kind summit this weekend, involving students from 50 colleges around the region in an effort to galvanize a national movement around food. The summit will end with a declaration of principles that students can bring back to their colleges to push for changes.