Can you “Food Better”?

Individuals and communities can improve the food system, according to members of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, which has launched a year-long, university-wide focus on how to make food distribution more equitable, sustainable, and nutritious.

The campaign kicks off this week, with each day focusing on a different theme – from food production to food waste – along with talks, field trips, cooking demonstrations, and of course, good food.

The Food Better campaign will run alongside the Dean’s Food System Challenge, a challenge in the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-Lab) that invites creative and entrepreneurial students to develop innovative ideas to improve the health, social, and environmental outcomes of the food system, both in the United States and around the world. The Challenge is co-sponsored by Dean Martha Minow of Harvard Law School and Dean Julio Frenk of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The official launch of the Food System Challenge is October 27.

“Food is a universal issue, because everyone eats,” said Emily Broad Leib, director of the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic. “We’re hoping with this campaign to show Harvard’s ongoing commitment to improving our food system. And we’re hoping students will get involved and take away ideas about how individuals can improve the food system, such as reducing their food waste, making healthier choices, and supporting local farmers.” She added that she also imagines the Food Better week will build momentum and interest for students to participate in the i-Lab Dean’s Food System challenge.

The Food Better campaign is a partnership of the Food Law and Policy Clinic,  Harvard University Dining Services, and the Harvard Office for Sustainability. Events begin September 29, with a half dozen activities, including a field trip to an organic farm in Natick, herb harvesting in the Harvard Community Garden, and a science and cooking lecture by former White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses.

Tuesday’s events center on the Farmer’s Market on the Science Center Plaza. Harvard University Dining Services chef Martin Breslin will show how to make a meal for four for less than $10. He’ll share samples of his creations, too.

A SNAP Challenge will show participants the difficulty of purchasing adequate and nutritious food with just the money provided in the government assistance program.

Wednesday features a field trip to Rocky Hill Farm in Saugus, where Harvard’s compost goes.

The Harvard Food Law Society is hosting a panel on Thursday with representatives of local companies discussing innovation and entrepreneurship in the food system, with a focus on waste reduction and food justice.

Food Better week concludes with a Food Better panel and party Friday evening.