About Good Food

Overview |  Our Standards | Compatibility | Our Team


The Good Food Challenge uses the power of youth and students to reach higher standards in local, sustainable, humane, and socially-just campus food purchasing. Amidst a sea of confusing labels, certifications and claims about sustainability and ethical purchasing, the Good Food Challenge offers campuses a comprehensive and decisive definition for Good Food, sets a high standard upheld consistently among institutions, and supports users in tracking their progress. 

The Good Food Challenge is comprised of the Good Food Calculator, and the Good Food Campus Commitment

The Good Food Calculator is an auditing tool, run by students with support from food service staff, used to track food purchases that qualify as Good Food over time. The Good Food Calculator offers a rigorous national standard for Good Food, capturing best practices in campus food procurement and upheld consistently between campuses across Canada.

The calculator’s foundation is student energy; students complete comprehensive research and analysis that Food Service staff don’t often have time to do. Meal Exchange also provides hands on training and support to equip students with the skills they need to run a successful audit using the calculator. 

The Good Food Challenge has been inspired by and developed in partnership with the Real Food Challenge in the United States. 

Our Standards 

Good Food encompasses a concern for producers, consumers, communities, animals and the earth. Good Food represents a common ground where all relevant issues from human rights to environmental sustainability can converge. 

Good Food is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities, animals and the earth. It is a food system - from seed to plate - that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice and environmental sustainability. Some people call it "local," "green," "slow," or "fair." We use "Good Food" as a holistic term to bring together many of these diverse ideas people have about a values-based food economy. 

This is about more than supermarket labels. The Good Food Challenge has developed an innovative Good Food Calculator, which provides in-depth definitions of Good Food and a tracking system for institutional purchasing. With this tool, Good Food can be understood within six main pillars: Community-based, Socially-just, Humane, Ecologically-sound, Sustainable Seafood, and Food Sovereignty. Check out our Standards Package for a deeper discussion of each pillar, and how they relate to the Good Food Calculator. 


The Good Food Challenge has partnered with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and its Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Canadian colleges and universities that use STARS to measure their sustainability performance may report Good Food Calculator results to earn points in the STARS Food and Beverage Purchasing credit. 

Our Team 

The team behind Good Food Standards includes over 200 partners and advisors, including Meal Exchange staff and volunteers, farmers, ranchers, fishers, industry experts, civil society, academia, students, campus dining staff, campus administration, and foodservice management companies. For a full list of contributors, check out the GFC Design team on Meal Exchange’s main website.
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Good Food Challenge, a joint project of Meal Exchange and the Real Food Challenge, is an international student campaign dedicated to creating a healthy, just and sustainable food system. Our goal is to shift $1 billion in institutional food spending to 'good food.'
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