In the Johns Hopkins dining halls, the milk comes from a Pennsylvania dairy, the pickles and hot sauce come from Spike Gjerde, and all the bread is made by Stone Mill Bakery. And it doesn’t stop there: the university just announced that at least 35 percent of its food purchases will be local, sustainable, humane, and fair trade by the end of the decade.
That pledge is a part of the Real Food Challenge, which has also been signed by 18 other schools, including UC Santa Cruz, UMass Amherst, Oberlin, and the University of Vermont. RFC only asks schools to aim for 20 percent local/sustainable food, but Hopkins has decided to go above and beyond. “This is a significant investment, not just in the health of our students, faculty and staff, but in the wellbeing of our city and region,” Hopkins Ronald J. Daniels said. “It demonstrates our commitment, as the city’s largest private employer, to sustaining the community we call home.”
Even more impressive is the fact that Hopkins’ move toward sustainable food came about because of student advocacy. Real Food Hopkins, a student group, has done plenty of other good work around the school and the community at large, including starting a community garden on the Johns Hopkins Eastern campus and cooking a “100-mile meal” to celebrate locally sourced food.