GW’s dining service contractor pledged last week to increase its transparency.
Sodexo partnered with the nation’s largest food justice organization, Real Food Challenge, to increase locally grown and humanely treated food to up to 20 percent of all purchases by 2020 by showing all food sales.
Members of the Food Justice Alliance helped lead the program’s planning at GW. The student group’s vice president of outreach, Cavan Kharrazian, said the team has already begun using the calculator to analyze J Street’s food purchases.
Kharrazian, a sophomore, said the Food Justice Alliance hopes to sign an agreement with University President Steven Knapp within the next year to design a food plan for J Street. He said he is not yet sure of what the plan will entail, since the analysis of how much fresh food GW purchases has not concluded.
“This agreement really gives the power to the students, but it is still up to students to use that power on campus in order to bring about changes,” Kharrazian said.
The calculator was tested for three years at dozens of universities across the nation.
The University has already taken an eye to product sustainability. Last semester, campus dining officials began marketing the about 20 percent of the locally-grown produce sold at J Street.
“Transparency and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Increasing transparency is something we want to model for this generation of interested consumers and for our industry,” Sodexo spokesman Stephen Cox said.
Increasing campus areas for self-sustaining agriculture is also a long-term goal of the Office of Sustainability, and is part of a plan to decrease GW’s eco footprint over the next decade.
This article was updated April 12, 2013 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Sodexo committed to purchasing 20 percent of humanely treated or organic food by 2020. While this is the goal of the Real Food Calculator, each university will decide how much to buy on its own. We regret this error.
This article appeared in the April 11, 2013 issue of the Hatchet.