University of Vermont

Food Systems Initiative

Real Food Challenge Logo

What is Real Food?

The Real Food Challenge defines "real food" as food that is local or community-based, fair, ecologically sound, or humane; and further defines particular criteria that food must meet to qualify as real food under one or more of these categories. For a detailed explanation of each of the Real Food categories and the associated criteria, visit the Real Food Calculator website.


Food from independently/cooperatively owned producers, that gross <1% of the industry leader annually, and are also <250 miles from campus.


Includes organic products and sustainable seafood that aim to minimize environmental impact.


Any product where the workers involved are paid and treated well. Common items are coffee, tea, chocolate, and exotic fruits.


There are many qualifying certifications for this category that ensure that the animal was well treated.

For examples of Real Food products at UVM, see our Eating Real on Campus page.

Last modified July 30 2015 09:59 AM