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Real Food Challenge Canada Akhtar, Mustafa; Driscoll, Bryan; Ma, Angela; Lin, Lisa; Deng, Danny; Barrows, Elizabeth 2016-04-11

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 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report	Angela Ma, 	Bryan Driscoll, 	Danny Deng, 	Elizabeth Barrows, 	Lisa Lin, Mustafa AkhtarReal Food Challenge CanadaLFS 450April 11, 201614102148University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or a SEEDS team representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.1 Real Food Challenge UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program  Student Research Report    Real Food Challenge Canada  M. Akhtar, B. Driscoll, A. Ma, L. Lin, D. Deng and  E. Barrows University of British Columbia LFS 450 April 11, 2016      Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student research project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore, readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Sustainability Program representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.  2 Real Food Challenge Table of Contents                                                                                               Page    Executive Summary                                                                                                 3 Introduction                                                                                                             4-5 Methodology                                                                                                             6 Results                                                                                                   6-12 Discussion & Recommendations                                                                         13-18                               References                                                                                                              19-20 Appendix I: Real Food Guide Ver. 1.1 from Meal Exchange Canada                 21-26 Appendix II: Real Food Challenge Researcher and Coordinator Toolkits:      Calculator Instructions                                                                                           27-33                                                                                                          Appendix III: RFC Excel Spreadsheet                                                                   34-35                                                                                                    3 Real Food Challenge Executive Summary  The Real Food Challenge (RFC) is a campus food assessment system established in United States currently being adapted for Canada by Meal Exchange, a non-profit organization. Food is assessed for sustainability and social justice across four categories (community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane) with their own set of criteria. Thirty-seven food items from the wrap station and fruit stand in the Totem Park Dining Hall, managed by UBC Student Housing and Hospitality Services, a division UBC Food Service, were assessed using the Real Food Guide. Purchasing invoices were obtained and suppliers were contacted to obtain detailed information on the sources of these food items. Once the source was identified, a search for information required for assessing the Real Food criteria was undertaken. The results from our audit showed that 70% of the food items could not be classified as ‘Real Food’ mostly because they were disqualified based on the Real Food Guide. The ‘Real Food’ label could be applied to 30% of the items with half classified as Real Food A (criteria met in two of the four categories) and half as Real Food B (criteria met in one out of four category). We found that most of the fruits, such as apples, oranges, pears, bananas, and kiwis were considered ‘Real Food’ while baked goods, deli meats, condiments (except for mustard), and snacks were disqualified, mainly due to the presence of additives or ingredients derived from  genetically modified crops. This audit presented some challenges including evaluating each item through the very strict community-based or loosely defined ecologically sound criteria. In addition, we found discrepancies in the assessment system with highly refined ingredients from genetically modified crops being disqualifiers while there is no scientific support for such a broad rejection while palm oil is not a disqualifier despite well documented large-scale adverse effects on the environment and on rural populations. We suggest entertaining the addition of a fifth criterion for nutrition and a few other improvements. As for UBC Food Services staff, we suggest that they try to source bread without additives so that it can be classified as ‘Real Food’, fair trade avocados and bananas and, prepare sandwich meats in-house to avoid nitrate or nitrite-containing sandwich ingredients. Finally, we suggest that UBC hosts a Real Food Challenge or Meal Exchange summit to further its commitment to sustainable food on campus.       4 Real Food Challenge  Introduction  University students often lack access to nutritionally high quality and sustainable foods. A 2009-2011 evaluation of the quality of the food offered on or near 15 United States campuses revealed that most foods could not be classified as healthy or nutritious and contained elevated levels of unwanted fats and sugars. Most of these foods did not promote healthy eating habits or prevent obesity (Horacek et al. 2012). The Real Food Challenge (RFC) is a response to such a problem, providing a new and innovative way to assess some of the properties related to the environmental and social sustainability of food offered on university campuses. The criteria used by the RFC can be used to identify the current performance of a campus food system relative to its sustainability goals. It is mainly an assessment tool which can be used to stimulate dialogue and change.  The goal of this project was to evaluate the food served on the UBC Point Grey campus in terms of the percentage of food being ‘real’, using the RFC criteria . The Real Food definition is “food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities and the earth”. This food satisfies criteria in four core categories: Community-based, Fair, Ecologically sound and Humane (Real Food Challenge, n.d.). Our assessment results will help to identify potential gaps in purchasing practices relative to UBC’s sustainable food policies and help direct Student Housing and Hospitability Services (SHHS) efforts towards environmental sustainability. This project will also help promote transparency in UBC’s food system by providing information that could not otherwise be easily available to students. Transparency may also promote further changes in the UBC food system since this food audit will inform future decision-making by UBC staff. This work could also serve as a demonstration of the use of this tool for other institutions, businesses, and companies in Canada which would like to move toward a more sustainable food system.   The RFC is a national student movement that started in the United States, aiming to shift 20% – or $1 billion – of existing post-secondary food budgets toward community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane food by 2020. Each year, universities in the US spend an average of $5.18 million on food and about 15% of this amount is designated as Real Food. RFC has received $55 million in Real Food purchasing pledges from colleges and universities in the U.S. (Real Food Challenge n.d.).  More than 30 schools in the U.S. have committed to this challenge by signing the Real Food Campus Commitment. One of the first was the University of Vermont (UVM), 5 Real Food Challenge which pledged to purchasing 20% Real Food by 2020 (Real Food Challenge n.d. & University of Vermont website, n.d.). Since 2012, a team of UVM students, faculty, and staff have been working with the University Dining Services to determine how UVM should implement this commitment (Porter 2015). UVM has since been auditing their food purchases with the use of the Real Food Calculator, which the school uses to track institutional purchasing over time and determine their Real Food score (Real Food Challenge n.d.).  The Real Food Calculator is a tool which evaluates the proportion of sustainable food purchases relative to total food purchases and provides evidence of a university’s support of humane, ecologically sound, local, and fair food. Over 130 schools in the U.S. have been utilizing the Real Food Calculator to track their food purchasing on campus. RFC is encouraging American and Canadian students to take up the challenge and strive for a more sustainable and healthy campus food system (Real Food Challenge, n.d.).  The Meal Exchange, a national registered charity which works with Canadian universities to address hunger, food insecurity, and sustainability, is working to bring the RFC to Canada. It is currently tested in British Columbia and, will launch across Canada in August 2016 (C. White, personal communication). The Meal Exchange plans on gathering critical feedback and review on the RFC criteria, standards, resources, and tools. This project will have the opportunity to help shape the program.  The specific objectives of this project were to 1) assess the food provided by UBC SHHS in Totem Park dining room’s wrap station and fruit stand using the criteria outlined in the Real Food Guide (Appendix I) and, 2) provide feedback and suggestions to the Meal Exchange with regards to the use of the RFC guide in Canada.   As students of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, we shared values with the  proponents of the RFC. We agreed with the promotion of community-based agriculture, fair treatment of employees and livestock, and thoughtful and ethical consideration of environmental resources. None of us were familiar with the RFC or the Meal Exchange prior to this project. Some of us had insights about the complexity of the food distribution systems and we approached the project with some apprehension. But such is the nature of examining food systems, so we embraced the challenge!     6 Real Food Challenge Methodology  Preparing to start the Real Food Challenge  Celia White from Meal Exchange Canada, who is in charge of implementing the RFC in Canada, provided us with general information about it as well as the application process for the software needed for assessments, which is the Real Food Calculator. We created an institutional profile for UBC, set up individual profiles for our research team and familiarized ourselves with the Real Food Challenge Researcher and Coordinator Toolkits. (Appendix II). In addition, we completed our Real Food Guide training with Celia White (Appendix I). Use of the proprietary software, the Real Food Calculator, required the signature of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) by UBC. UBC declined to sign the NDA agreement with the Meal Exchange. Although we could not use the online software, we created our own Excel spreadsheet based on the RFC Guide. On the spreadsheet, each column had their respective title: (1) month, (2) year, (3) description, (4) category, (5) label/brand, (6) vendor, (7) fair, (8) ecological sound, (9) humane, (10) disqualifier, and (11) notes.   Accessing procurement data  Rene Atkinson, purchasing manager for the Totem Park Dining Hall provided us with purchasing invoices for the food offered at the Totem Dining hall wrap station and fruit stand so that we could identify suppliers. We contacted suppliers and farms by phone or email to obtain details necessary for the Real Food assessment. Data were analyzed and organized using the Excel spreadsheet (Appendix III).     Results The Real Food Guide has a set of indicators in each of the four categories – Community-Based, Fair, Ecologically-Sound, and Humane – where food items must meet criteria in at least one category for it to be labelled ‘Real Food’. The degree to which a food meets criteria in each category is represented by a green or yellow label or ‘light’. Failure to meet criteria is represented by a red label or ‘light’. Green and yellow lights contribute to assessing a food item as ‘Real Food’ while a red light leads to food not being ‘Real’. Food items that met the green or yellow criteria in two or more categories are 7 Real Food Challenge labelled as Real Food A, while the items that met only one category are Real Food B. Food items found to contain certain undesirable characteristics are automatically disqualified and are not considered as ‘Real Food’ (Fig.1).   Fig. 1. A visual representation of the assessment process of each food item in accordance to the Real Food Guide.   We evaluated the Totem Dining hall’s wrap station, fruit stand, and selected drinks and snacks for a total of 37 items (Table 1) using the Real Food Guide to determine the proportion of ‘Real Food’ in this specific sample of food purchased by SHHS.    8 Real Food Challenge Table 1. Food items from the wrap station, fruit stand, drinks and snacks at the Totem Park dining hall used for the Real Food Challenge assessment.   FOOD ITEMS AUDITED CATEGORY Oranges Produce Washington Red Delicious Apple Produce Green Anjou Pear (Probably Washington) Produce Ambrosia Apple Produce BC Golden Delicious Apples Produce Bananas Produce Avocado Produce Kiwi (California) Produce Gala Apples B.C. Produce Cheeses (Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese) Dairy Bacon Meat Chicken Salad Meat Deli meat (Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef) Meat Smoked Tofu Meat Tuna salad Fish/Seafood Whole Grain Bread Baked Goods Whole Wheat Bread Baked Goods Hamburger Buns Baked Goods Dark brown bread Baked Goods Wraps Baked Goods Gluten-Free Wraps Baked Goods Gluten-Free Bread Baked Goods Kaiser Buns Baked Goods Marble Rye bread  Baked Goods 9 Real Food Challenge Mayonnaise Condiments Ranch Condiments Chiptole Mayo Condiments Honey Dijon Mustard Condiments Nutella Snacks Kellog's Nutrigrain - strawberry Snacks Solo Gi - Lemon Lift Snacks Hardbite kettle chips - Sweet onion Snacks Rice Dream Drinks Rice Dream - Enriched chocolate Drinks So Good - Chocolate flavour Drinks So Nice - Fortified Soy Beverage - Organic Drinks Steaz Iced Green Tea beverage - unsweetened lemon Drinks   We found that 70% (26/37) of the food items could not be classified as Real Food, while 16% (6/37) could be classified as Real Food A and 14% (5/37) could be classified as Real Food B. Of the items which were not ‘Real Food’, 62% were disqualified and 8% were unclassified (Fig.1).  Real Food A items included apples, pears and smoked tofu and Real Food B included oranges, bananas, kiwis, organic soy milk and iced green tea. Most common criteria in these foods were fair conditions for workers, proximity of production area and organic certification (Table 2).  Most items were disqualified because they contained an ingredient derived from a genetically engineered crop (Table 3).   10 Real Food Challenge  Fig. 2. Proportion of food items meeting the Real Food criteria for 37 items from the fruit stand, wrap station, drinks and snacks of the Totem Dining hall.   Table 2. Items classified as Real Food A or B and reason(s) for classification according to the Real Food Challenge criteria.   Product Item Classification Reason for classification Oranges Real Food B Fair wages and on-site housing for workers (Green light for Fair) Washington Red Delicious Apple Real Food A Grown in Washington, fair wages and on-site housing for workers   Green Anjou Pear (Probably Washington) Real Food A   Grown in Washington, fair wages and on-site housing for workers  Ambrosia Apple Real Food A Grown in Summerland, fair wages and on-site housing for workers  BC Golden Delicious Apples Real Food A Grown in Summerland, fair wages and on-site housing for workers   Bananas Real Food B Certified Rainforest alliance  11 Real Food Challenge Kiwi (California) Real Food B Fair wages and housing on site for workers (Green light for Fair) Gala Apples B.C. Real Food A Grown in Summerland, fair wages and on-site housing for workers   Smoked Tofu Real Food A Certified organic soybeans used  So Nice - Fortified Soy Beverage - Organic Real Food B Canadian Organic Standard and non-GMO  Steaz Iced Green Tea beverage - unsweetened lemon                 Real Food B USDA Organic (certified vegan)    Table 3. Items classified as ‘Not Real Food’ or disqualified according to the Real Food Challenge criteria.  Product Item Classification Reason for classification Avocado Not Real Food Supplied by cartels that sideline small producers  Cheeses (Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese) Not Real Food USDA-FSIS certified  Bacon Disqualified Contain Sodium nitrite Chicken Salad Disqualified Frozen chicken from USA, most likely grown in battery-cage in large production sites Deli meat (Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef) Disqualified Contain Sodium nitrite Tuna salad Not Real Food No certifications because product was from Thailand so it was difficult to determine labour laws  Whole Grain Bread Disqualified May contain GMO: canola oil, soya flour Whole Wheat Bread Disqualified May contain GMO: canola oil, soya flour Hamburger Buns Disqualified May contain GMO: canola oil, soya flour Dark brown bread Disqualified May contain GMO: modified cornstarch, canola oil, and sugar; caramel color 12 Real Food Challenge Wraps Disqualified May contain GMO: canola oil and soybean oil, corn starch Gluten-Free Wraps Disqualified May contain GMO: canola oil and sugar Gluten-Free Bread Disqualified May contain GMO: canola oil Kaiser Buns Disqualified May contain GMO: canola oil, and soya oil Marble Rye bread Disqualified May contain GMO: canola oil, soya oil, caramel colour Mayonnaise Disqualified May contain GMO: modified cornstarch, canola oil, and sugar Ranch Dressing Disqualified May contain GMO: soybean oil, modified corn starch, and sugar Chipotle Mayo Disqualified May contain GMO: soybean oil Honey Dijon Mustard Disqualified May contain GMO: soybean oil, sugar. (also contains eggs which may not be humanely raised) Nutella Disqualified May contain GMO: sugar, soy lecithin Kellog's Nutrigrain - strawberry Disqualified May contain GMO: soybean and/or canola oil, sugar, corn syrup, modified corn starch, caramel colour Solo Gi - Lemon Lift Disqualified May contain GMO: soy crisp, soy protein isolate, sugar, soy lecithin, soy nut butter Hardbite kettle chips - Sweet onion Disqualified May contain GMO: non-hydrogenated canola oil, sugar Rice Dream Disqualified May contain GMO: may contain canola oil Rice Dream - Enriched chocolate Disqualified   So Good - Chocolate flavour Disqualified May contain GMO: contains soybean     13 Real Food Challenge Discussion & Recommendations STARS report and the Real Food Challenge at UBC UBC Food Services has already evaluated the sustainability of its food purchases using STARS, a sustainability benchmarking framework as part of its sustainability strategy and policy. The RFC evaluation complements the STARs report. The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) is a voluntary, self-reporting framework that allows campuses to report their sustainability-centred activities (University of British Columbia, 2015). The Food & Beverage purchasing performance criteria was developed in 2014 (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, 2015). Both RFC and STARS have similar food and beverage purchases criteria. The main differences is in the scoring procedure; in the RFC, the assessments are labelled as green, yellow, red, or disqualified; whereas the STARS criteria ranks using points, up to a maximum of 4 points (AASHE, 2015). In the future, UBC Food Services could use both sets of criteria and results to inform future purchases taking into account the comments below. Action for UBC SHHS One relatively simple change at the Totem Park Dining hall could involve the preparation of in-house meat for sandwiches rather than the purchase of deli meats which contain ingredients such as nitrates and nitrites which are RFC disqualifiers. Purchasers could try to buy products whose ingredients are few and widely recognizable which would  allow SHHS to meet more of the Real Food Criteria. An example of successful practice at SHHS is purchasing 90% of the chicken used at UBC Food Services through a local farm, J & K Farms, well-known for its animal welfare practices. This was one of our good surprises during this auditing exercise! If feasible, this chicken could replace the rest of chicken (10%) served as chicken salad in the wrap station, salad bars, as well as the frozen chicken breasts at the grill.  UBC Food Services should favor partnerships with local distributors or farms to secure contracts based on the community supported agriculture model. This way they will be able to support local farms, offer fresh, local, and seasonal produce to their patrons and insure adequate volumes. For instance, Discovery Organics and Horizon Distributors mainly source products from local, small suppliers. It may be possible to obtain reasonably-priced products by buying seasonally.  14 Real Food Challenge As much as possible, UBC Food Services must stop purchasing avocados from Mexico and bananas from Del Monte unless they are certified Fair Trade. Our research shows that the majority of avocados are being supplied by cartels, and Del Monte has been involved in a number of labour disputes.  Another relatively simple change for UBC Food Services, especially for the wrap station, would be to change the bread supplier to insure that no disqualified additive is used. Given the large number of excellent bakeries in Vancouver and the importance of the Canadian wheat production, wheat bread for the wrap station should fit the Real Food criteria.   Research for UBC SHHS and SEEDS After completing the audit at the Totem Dining hall, we suggest that UBC SHHS and SEEDS try to implement the actions listed above and document the change process for each ingredient, meat, avocados, bananas and bread to demonstrate feasibility to other interested parties. We also think that UBC could host a Real Food Challenge summit (http://www.realfoodchallenge.org/programs/summits). UBC is already recognized as the first Canadian university to adopt a Sustainability Policy and a Campus Sustainability Office. It could also be the pioneer university that drives the change towards Real Food! Many students at UBC are environmentally and dietetically savvy. They would be willing to drive this movement across Canada. We suggest that SEEDS identifies student bodies on campus to work on this project with the Meal Exchange and/or the Real Food Challenge. Eventually, UBC could serve as an example for other universities aiming to move towards Real Food.   Feedback on the RFC for Meal Exchange Genetically modified crops: We found that all of the baked goods (breads), condiments (except for mustard), and snacks couldn’t be evaluated against the Real Food criteria because they were disqualified for containing disallowed ingredients. Almost all disqualified food items were classified as such due to the risk that they contained genetically modified (GM) soy, corn, canola, or sugar. Canola, corn, soy, and sugar beet are all genetically modified crops grown in Canada. Almost all canola (~95%) and sugar beet (~100%), the majority of corn (80+%) and at least 60% of soybeans grown in Canada 15 Real Food Challenge are genetically modified (Canadian Biotechnology Action Network 2015). Numbers are similar in the United States, if not higher (United States Department of Agriculture, 2014). Since ingredients derived from these crops are in almost all processed foods, this disqualifier makes it incredibly difficult for even slightly processed foods to have any chance at being classified as ‘Real Food’.  There are some concerns over such broad-sweeping disqualification of foods potentially containing one highly refined ingredient from a GM crop. The arguments against GM crops include the assertions that GMO foods aren’t healthy for humans and/or  that they have a detrimental impact on the environment. In a recent editorial by Angelika Hilbeck et al. (2015), endorsed by over 300 scientists from around the world (PhDs, MDs, or legal experts in GMO risk assessment) concluded recently that “the scarcity and contradictory nature of the scientific evidence published to date prevents conclusive claims of safety, or of lack of safety, of GMO crops.” There are no epidemiological studies investigating the potential adverse effects of genetically engineered food consumption in humans. Disqualifying food because of an ingredient derived from a GM crop based on possible long-term human health effects is typical of the precautionary approach used in Europe but such sweeping rejection needs to be discussed, especially in the case of highly refined ingredients since the concept of potential harm to humans is only speculative and based on a ‘better safe than sorry’ philosophy.  While to date, science has shown no deleterious effect of genetically modified crops on humans, the concern of environmental impacts of some genetically modified crops such as the herbicide resistant crops are well taken since one could make the argument that growing these GM crops could increase reliance on the use of herbicides. However, some GM crops are resistant to insects and actually decrease the use of insecticides. The adoption of crop biotechnology has led to a decrease in worldwide pesticide usage by 8.9%, or 474 million kg (Brookes & Barfoot 2013). Our point is that discriminating so broadly against ingredients derived from GMO foods may not necessarily be beneficial. Hilbeck et al. (2015) state that such blanket statements about GM safety are not useful and that they must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  We suggest that ingredients derived from GM crops be removed from the list of disqualifiers and become a subcategory. Similarly, non-organic foods or foods produced by small farmers naturally (but without organic certification) may be ‘Real Food’ but fall short under the Fair category as they may not have legitimate organic certification. The Real Food Guide must consider that there are ecologically sound farm operations that exist without certification.  16 Real Food Challenge Lack of Classification: There is potential for many foods evaluated under the Real Food Guide to go unclassified such as a condiment like Heinz mustard, widely used in North America. Its ingredient list is short and simple: white vinegar, water, mustard seed, spices, salt, and turmeric. Its health effects surely must be quite benign. Mustard is a traditional food in many countries around the world and is slightly processed. Yet, there is no mechanism available under the RFC criteria to give it any recognition. There would obviously be many other foods or condiments that would have no disqualifier but, meet none of the four criteria while being otherwise benign. On the other hand, if condiments are not to be included in the RFC assessment then clear instructions to this effect should be given to auditors. Palm oil as a Disqualifier: Palm oil is an ingredient derived from a crop that has been documented time and again as resulting in severe adverse environmental impacts. Yet, this ingredient does not appear in the list of RFC disqualifiers. Palm oil and palm kernel oil based ingredients, harvested from the fruits of the palm oil plant, Elaeis guineenis, are found in roughly 50% of products in supermarkets today, with a variety of uses from cooking oil to consumer food to biofuels and animal feed (GreenPalm, 2015). Due to their versatility and high-yielding capacity they are widely used worldwide (GreenPalm, 2015). Due to high demand, the number of plantations has increased in recent years, with the majority of those in Indonesia and Malaysia, which together account for more than 85% of production for the world market (Richter 2009). The development of these plantations has led to much deforestation and destruction of rainforests, which threatens biodiversity (GreenPalm 2015). There is also the danger of intensifying climate change, as more carbon dioxide is being produced due to the conversion of land (Richter 2009). Social impacts like conflicts between indigenous people and companies, as well as concerns in regards to the labour conditions of workers and their dependence on plantations as a source of income are also problematic (Richter 2009). Although there exists certification for sustainable management practices of palm oil called “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil” (RSPO), there remains much controversy about this certification process (International Union of Foodworkers 2006; Center for Orangutan Protection 2008; Pye & Bhattacharya 2012). Though in the Real Food Guide, “RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil” is included in “Red Light 1”, further considerations and discussion of this ingredient are needed and we suggest that for now, the presence of this ingredient be incorporated into the list of disqualifiers.  In addition, we also recommend that UBC Food Services avoids using products that contain palm oil.   17 Real Food Challenge Avocado from Mexico as a Disqualifier: Avocado production in Mexico has been greatly influenced by cartels and small farmers and workers have been sidelined, resulting in decreased average profit margins for small farmers (Vocativ, n.d.). The Real Food disqualifiers mention slave labour, but there is no mention of cartels or corporations that are adversely influencing local food production and local food security. Non fair-trade avocadoes should be considered for the list of disqualifiers. Update of the COABC versus Canada Organic Certification:  In the Real Food Guide, the Canada Organic Certification is classified as a yellow standard under the Ecologically Sound criterion. The green standard equivalent for an organic certification is from the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia (COABC). However, the COABC adopted the Canada Organic Standard as of Jan 1, 2009 (COABC n.d.). This classification needs to be revised to reflect this change.  Size of producers: While Californian oranges seem to meet almost every standard in the Community-based criteria, we could not give them a green light since producers are not small. There is plenty of evidence to show that contribution to the community and environmental stewardship is not necessarily related to size. Producers in California use state of the art water, pest and soil conservation system. It is a shame for oranges to be disqualified based entirely on the size of orange groves. Perhaps economies of scale benefit water conservation and by the same token, the community who lives nearby. In addition, large farms may benefit nearby businesses.   There is also a contradiction between the desired ‘small’ size of a producer for the Community based category and the desired organic certification for the Ecologically sound category which is a relatively costly process that small producers cannot afford. Accordingly, Del Monte bananas which have red lights in other categories, are certified by Rainforest Alliance and have an Ecologically sound green light.  Miscellaneous suggestions: In order to meet the Community-based criteria, producers must meet not one, but all of the sub-categories and also confirm this abidance in writing. During our investigation, we were told that requesting such information in writing was not practical.  When we emailed a researcher from British Columbia Fruit Growers Association, Margaret Cliff, and asked her if apples grown in B.C. met the community based criteria, she emailed back saying, ‘I would suggest you call them, for getting a written reply to such a long list of questions is unrealistic’. We suggest that the Real Food Guide be adjusted to suggest, ‘written confirmation is preferred, but not necessary’.  18 Real Food Challenge In addition, wording in Community-based green criteria could be clarified: ‘gross sales’, rather could be changed to ‘net sales’. Most companies declare numbers in terms of net sales or net profits. This change will simplify the task of evaluating if a producer can be considered small. We recommend that Real Food Guide adds a fifth category for nutrition. The current disqualifiers are a good start, but they do not include dietary considerations. In this day and age, people are increasingly concerned about what they eat, and when thinking about Real Food, most think of nutrition before any other consideration.                                19 Real Food Challenge References  Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. 2015. University of British Columbia OP-6: Food and Beverage Purchasing [Internet]. [Cited 09 Apr 2016]. Available from https://stars.aashe.org/institutions/university-of-british-columbia-bc/report/2015-08-04/OP/dining-services/OP-6/  Brookes, G., & Barfoot, P. 2013. Key environmental impacts of global genetically modified (GM) crop use 1996–2011. GM crops & food, 4(2), 109-119.  Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. 2015. Where in the world are GM crops and foods? The reality of GM crops in the ground and on our plates [Internet]. [Cited 27 Mar 2016]. Available from gmoinquiry.ca   Certified Organic Associations of BC. n.d. (COABC) - Standards [Internet]. [Cited 27 Mar 2016]. Available from http://www.certifiedorganic.bc.ca/standards/  GreenPalm. 2015. GreenPalm Sustainability [Internet] [Cited 29 Mar 2016]. Available from http://greenpalm.org/about-palm-oil/what-is-palm-oil  Hilbeck, A., Binimelis, R., Defarge, N., Steinbrecher, R., Székács, A., Wickson, F., ... & Novotny, E. 2015. No scientific consensus on GMO safety. Environmental Sciences Europe, 27(4), 1-6.  Horacek, T. M., Erdman, M. B., Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Carey, G., Colby, S. M., Greene, G. W., ... & White, A. B. 2013. Assessment of the dining environment on and near the campuses of fifteen post-secondary institutions. Public health nutrition, 16(07), 1186-1196.  Meal Exchange. 2016. Calculator Instructions [Internet]. [Cited 01 Feb 2016]. Available from http://mealexchange.com/what-we-do/real-food-challenge.html   Porter J. 2015. Get Real: An Examination of the Real Food Challenge at the University of Vermont [dissertation]. University of Vermont. 141p.   Pye, O. & Bhattacharya, J. 2012. The Palm Oil Controversy in Southeast Asia. ISEAS Publishing. 308p.   Real Food Challenge. n.d. Real Food Challenge [Internet]. [Cited 01 Feb 2016]. Available from http://www.realfoodchallenge.org/  20 Real Food Challenge Richter, B. 2009. Environmental Challenges and the Controversy about Palm Oil Production - Case Studies from Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar. Singapore: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.   United States Department of Agriculture. 2014. Genetically engineered crops in the United States [Internet]. [Cited 29 Mar 2016]. Available from http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err162.aspx  University of British Columbia. 2015. UBC Sustainability: External Benchmarks [Internet]. [Cited 09 Apr 2016]. Available from https://sustain.ubc.ca/our-commitment/strategic-plans-policies-reports/external-benchmarks  Vocativ. n.d. “Blood Avocados”: The dark side of your guacamole  [Internet]. [Cited 11 April 2016]. Available from http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/crime/avocado/                   21 Real Food Challenge   Appendix I: Real Food Guide Version 1.1 from Meal Exchange Canada 22 Real Food Challenge 23 Real Food Challenge 24 Real Food Challenge 25 Real Food Challenge 26 Real Food Challenge          27 Real Food Challenge Appendix II: Real Food Challenge Researcher and Coordinator Toolkits: Calculator Instructions Version 1.1 28 Real Food Challenge 29 Real Food Challenge 30 Real Food Challenge 31 Real Food Challenge 32 Real Food Challenge 33 Real Food Challenge  34 Real Food Challenge Appendix III: Real Food Challenge Excel Spreadsheet for selected items at the Totem Park Dining Hall (March 2016) 35 Real Food Challenge  


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