Analyzing Ohio State University’s Food Purchasing System: Opportunities for Change through the Real Food Challenge
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. School of Environment and Natural Resources Honors Theses; 2015
Students at Ohio State University (OSU) seek to achieve a university commitment to the Real Food Challenge (RFC), a national student movement that seeks to effect change in the food system through colleges and universities. In order to assess the likelihood of a commitment by OSU, and the efficacy of this strategy for forwarding alternative food movement goals, this study explores barriers to and opportunities for adoption of the RFC commitment through a diffusion of innovations framework. First, I examine characteristics common among institutions that have adopted the commitment and compare these institutional characteristics with OSU to identify possible structural barriers to adoption. I then illustrate a map of how OSU’s food purchasing system is organized by conducting secondary analysis of web data, solicitations of information, and ongoing campaign work through RFC, identifying and analyzing critical decision-making nodes. Strategy suggestions are offered for students in response to barriers and opportunities revealed, while questions regarding the efficacy of RFC as a strategy to forward alternative food system goals at OSU and further research questions are raised.
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences 2015 Research Forum: First place, Social Sciences
Academic Major: Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability
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