Tuesday September 15, 2015 5:00 AM
The Ohio Farmers Union is very encouraged to see that momentum is building toward the prospect that Ohio State University might accept the Real Food Challenge (“ Real Food group gets time with OSU chief,” Dispatch article, Friday).
This would be no trivial step in that it would commit OSU to make a serious investment in locally grown and processed foods that conform to standards for sustainability, humane treatment and fairness.
As California withers under a chronic drought, it is notable that Ohio has a great climate, fertile soils, seasoned farmers and a strong infrastructure for growing food. We are confident that Ohio Farmers and food processors can meet the challenge of providing 20 percent of OSU’s food requirements by 2020.
Kudos to OSU’s President Michael V. Drake for agreeing to meet with the student leaders of this initiative. Acceptance of this challenge would require a serious commitment to a more active procurement system, but, in the longer term, it would provide more wholesome and nutritious meals for OSU students, faculty and staff.
It also would strengthen the local economy and answer the call for greater awareness of where our food comes from and how it was produced.
At a time when industrial food systems have become global, OSU could take a major step toward resilience and sustainability by accepting this challenge, fulfilling the original mandate of its land grand status.
We urge Drake to move forward toward acceptance of this commitment.
Ohio Farmers Union