Global problem: The modern food system is unsustainable. Our government subsidizes big agriculture and commodity crops like corn instead of local vegetable farming. What’s more, global transport requires vast amounts of energy and creates massive greenhouse gas emissions. Even agriculture here in Minnesota leads to unhealthy nitrate levels in our drinking water and rivers, which ultimately contribute to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.
Nitrogen study looks at sources, pathways

food panel

General Manager of Bon Appetit at Macalester, Kimberly Driesch; President Brian Rosenberg, and MULCH student representative Abbie Shain ‘14 signing the Real Food Campus Commitment.

Local solution: Macalester Urban Land and Community Health, the student group known as MULCH, grows food and raises chickens on campus as well as organizing outreach and education on sustainable agriculture. As another step toward completing the feedback loops between our food production, food consumption, and food waste, our dining service Bon Appétit sends its leftovers to a hog farm to use as animal feed.

How we’re doing: Mac demonstrated its commitment to local and sustainable agriculture by signing onto the Real Food Campus Commitment in fall 2012. The commitment pledges requires us to purchase 30 percent “real food” by 2020.