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Real Food Challenge Learning Module

Maria Frank, Author
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"Ecologically Sound" criterion for Real Food Challenge: Examples

The following are examples of the kinds of issues addressed by the "ecologically sound" category of the RFC, and give us a sense of why these are important:

First, the Cornercopia student organic farm of the University of Minnesota, which provides locally grown, organic produce to many customers, including University Dining Services. They have a blog at with lots of background information and current updates about farm happenings.

Next, an interactive website that represents case studies of two Minnesota farms at This website highlights two sustainable farming enterprises, one of which is certified organic: Clover Valley Farms and Loon Organics. It brings  their story of why and how they chose to start these businesses together with the concrete resources they have used to help them along the way and would recommend to others.

Finally, the report Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America, which pinpoints problems of concentrated animal feeding operations and recommends solutions to address them. The report is structured around four themes very similar to those of the Real Food Challenge: public health, the environment, animal welfare, and rural communities (particularly pertinent for this section of the module is the section on the environment).
You can read either the original executive summary or full report, depending on how much time you have to spare, and the follow up report written five years later is also an interesting read, evaluating the progress that has been made toward fulfilling their original recommendations.
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