Check out our quarterly newsletter featuring articles about featured farmers, Earth Day, the Sol Food Festival, seasonal recipes, and more!
Check out the work the Real Food Challenge Research Interns have been up to all year! They have compiled an assessment of the greenhous gas emissions in campus dining services here at UCSB. Click on the GGEs Assessment page to check it out! Congratulations to the Research team for such a great accomplishment!
The Real Food  Challenge tabled at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival! Countless organizations came out to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. The weather was perfect and everyone seemed to be having an awesome time! James Cameron, director of Titanic and Avatar, was even there to receive the Earth Day Award! Thanks to everyone for coming out and celebrating with us!

Check out some pictures of the event on our photos page!
    We have all encountered the signs along the bike paths and the individuals who have approached us in the dining commons asking if we want to go meatless for the night. Well, what is the point of not eating meat for one night, one week, one month, or for a lifetime? Does it really help as much as advocates claim? The answer to these questions is “Yes.” There is a point to going meatless. Even just one night can translate into significant benefits for the environment.

    Livestock constitutes nearly 80 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector. The process of getting meat from the field to the factory to your plate is ridden with environmental costs. Substances that contribute to air pollution or climate change are secreted into the atmosphere during each phase of the livestock process. This means that while animals are growing up, being killed, processed, and shipped the planet’s climate is changing for the worse. For example, during the respiratory process all animals emit carbon dioxide. The increase in this greenhouse gas and others is what causes global warming. Animals are literally burping and farting so much that our climate is getting hotter and hotter. Additionally, methane, nitrous oxides, and ammonia seep into the air out of animal manure. Overall, animals and cattle specifically are a major source of the changes that our climate is experiencing. 

    Other reasons to reduce your meat consumption are due to the copious amount of water that animals require and to the effects for forested areas from cattle ranches. To produce one pound of beef takes 5,000 gallons of water. You can save more water by eating one less pound of beef than you can by not taking a shower for one year. If everyone cut meat out of one meal there would be significant implications for our climate and water system. Furthermore, forests are being destroyed in order to make room for livestock. “The FAO estimates that in the Amazon alone, around 70% of deforested lands were turned into livestock pasture.” At this rate, the beautiful forests of our world will be gone and livestock will begin to roam in their places. 

    Giving up meat for a lifetime is a huge commitment, but we urge everyone to consider giving up meat for at least one meal or lowering your intake. On March 1, three out of the four UCSB residential dining commons will be going beefless while one will be going meatless. This is the perfect opportunity for everyone to help climate change through better dietary choices. So, in response to the question of whether or not eating meat for a meal will make a difference, we say “YES! Definitely! Positively! Absolutely!”

                                                -Real Food Challenge Interns
Food for Thought (And Action!) Sustainability Tour of Fairveiw Gardens! Location:Fairveiw Gardens (meet for carpool outside DLG) Time:10:45AM Saturday, February 20th

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Welcome to the Real Food Challenge Blog! Look here for info on upcoming events such as Meatless Mondays, Food for Thought (And Action!), the new Santa Barbara County Food Map, and much more! We will also post info about food-related events on the UCSB campus as well as in the Santa Barbara community. Keep checking back for more updates on the Real Food Challenge and how you can start helping the environment!

    RFC Interns

    The RFC Interns are a group of students motivated to spread the word about Real Food around the UCSB campus and community. We are looking for more interns to keep the Real Food Challenge going next year. If you are a student and are interested, send us an email!

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