Many students will agree that the food available on campus may not be the best. To address this issue, a group of graduate students have started a Campus Food Sustainability Project at MUN. The group informally surveyed students and found out that most students are having issues with unhealthy, non-locally sourced, expensive, and not easily accessible food on campus, aspects referred to as “food security.”
“In response to this we decided to look into other universities, to see what they’re doing to improve food security on their campus,” said Victoria Francis, a member of the Campus Food Sustainability Project.
The universities the group examined range from western to eastern Canada and include UBC, McGill, and Dalhousie, among others.
The group researched the following categories in the universities: health, accessibility, waste, management, low-impact dining, and involvement/participation. Some of the interesting things the group found out were that UBC turns many of their cooking oils into biodiesel to be used on campus, many universities provide discounts for students who bring their own reusable containers, and there are a variety of vegan options at UBC, UVic, and Simon Fraser.
The group is also researching MUN’s food security, including the food establishments in the UC, Bitters, vending machines, the oriental market, and other food security aspects throughout campus such as waste and involvement. The group found that many of the establishments are as students complained: unhealthy, non-locally sourced, expensive, and not easily accessible.
However, there are some positives at MUN such as fair trade coffee and tea, some vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, composting in the botanical garden, biodegradable wrappers, and many different types of recycling offered throughout MUN’s campus.
All-in-all, it looks like MUN’s campus needs improvement with food security, as most campuses do, making the Campus Food Sustainability Project at the very least, a good start.