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Over 130 Universities Join Student-Designed Startup to Measure Sustainable Food

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Louisville, KY - As millions of students receive their college acceptance letters this month and prepare to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives, Real Food Challenge is proud to announce that 134 colleges and universities are now participating in a national, student-designed program-called "The Real Food Calculator"-to measure and report sustainable food in campus dining.

While quality of cafeteria food has long been a factor in students' perceptions of campus life, a majority now included a concern for institutional sustainability as a factor in college decisions.

"Increasingly we're finding businesses that understand millennials' desire for transparency, authenticity and honesty in marketing-especially when it comes to food." Explains Anim Steel, Executive Director of Real Food Generation, the program's sponsor. "What's missing are concrete tools and hard numbers to help institutions keep up with an evolving customer base. The Real Food Calculator fills that gap." 

The online tool allows schools to aggregate thousands of food purchasing records and assess their institution's 'real food' score. Student researchers then grade products against a comprehensive set of 3rd party-verified standards for local, fair, ecologically sound and humane food. When completed, The Real Food Calculator offers concrete data on how a campus is currently supporting their community through their food choices-and how they can improve.

The program has won numerous accolades. David Schwartz, who helped develop the Calculator as an undergraduate at Brown University, was recently named one of Forbes 30 under 30 for Social Entrepreneurship, as well as honored by Variety Magazine and VH1 for his work. The Calculator has since been adopted nationwide. 
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