Claire Brady: Paresky Commons Real Food Challenge

Making your meal the real deal

We seek to better understand the nature of the food systems Phillips Academy supports through its dining program in Paresky Commons so that we can advertise those that are ecologically, socially, and economically equitable, while exploring new sources where they are not. We intend to perform the necessary analysis primarily with tools developed by the Real Food Challenge, an organization committed to maximizing the purchasing power of academic institutions for advocacy of responsible food systems.

Agriculture drives such a remarkable amount of land use, that its relationships with human and natural ecology are inevitably huge. Those relationships can be destructive, neutral, or beneficial and we want to support those that are beneficial. Because of agriculture’s large footprint, it can serve as one of the greatest tools we have to build ecological, social, and economic resilience, especially in the face of the climate crisis. While the campus already impresses us with its increasingly eco-conscious design, we feel that our commitment to engaging our community in these efforts needs to be greatly increased.

While PA only represents $5 million in food service markets annually, and much of American agriculture doesn’t even serve the food sector, this relatively minor step will harness an aspect of life that we all share—food—to inspire engagement.

Other Paresky Commons Real Food Challenge Lab Team Members: Eli Newell

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