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The mission of Northwestern Dining is to educate students, engage the community, and enrich the Northwestern experience by offering one of the most unique and pioneering campus meal programs in the nation.

NU Real Food

"This past spring Northwestern University signed on to the Real Food Challenge Campus Commitment, which pledges NU to source at least 20% of our food budget as real food by 2020.  Real food is defined as food which is local/community-based, ecologically sound, humane, and/or is built on fair-labor practices. This is determined by the Real Food Calculator, which uses third-party certifications and other standardized measures to classify each item of food in the dining halls and compute the school's real food percentage.

NU Dining is now beginning to change our sourcing to include real food in our menus.  This campaign and the current implementation is the results of the work done by the student group Real Food at NU (NURF), Northwestern's chapter of a the nation-wide campaign called The Real Food Challenge (RFC) that advocates for more real food in campus dining halls. With campaign tools and frameworks developed by RFC, more than 30 universities in the US have already pledged to source more real food in their dining halls, and Northwestern is the leader of the Big 10 as the first school to sign on to the commitment.

The implementation of this commitment is performed by the Food Systems Working Group (FSWG), a group composed of all stakeholders in Northwestern's food system: students, administrators, faculty, NU Dining employees, vendor representatives, and farmers.  These members of the FSWG are divided into three subcommittees: Sourcing/Calculator, Marketing, and Policy. The ultimate goal of the FSWG is to carry out the Campus Commitment by changing the sourcing of our food, and educating and engaging the community about the changes and principles related to real food.

To learn more about Real Food at NU, check out their website (  To become involved with Real Food at NU and/or the FSWG, contact the group at"
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