How to get involved

The Real Food Campaign has many parts, and there is always a way to connect.

If you're a passionate consumer, you can buy a Bionutrient Meter and help us explore how low-cost measurement techniques may help predict nutritional information, or you can be a Data Partner and collect samples from farms, farmers markets, and stores in your area.

If you're a farmer, become a Farm Partner and help identify exactly what farm practices produce nutrient dense produce

If you're an university, company, or funder then let's find a way to work together to support your goals and the goals of the RFC

Or heck, just come visit us via the RFC Lab Residency program and play around with our sample throughput, data, and tools.

And everyone can help support the campaign financially, through small donations or contact us directly for larger levels of support. We're pretty lean and mean but your support helps us get more done.

If you care about nutrition, food, soil and human health, there's a way to plug in. Click on the links to the right to learn more.

Donate a little ($3!) to keep us going

Donate to our Patreon Campaign

Why?...Go to our Patreon Page to find out? Here's a snippet...

HELLO MAKERS AND EATERS OF FOOD!

We are researchers and tech developers trying to figure out which carrot at the grocery store is more nutritious... why it's more nutritious, and how to measure 'nutritious' in the first place. Of course, it's not just about carrots - we’re interested in the nutrition of all farm produce, but it’s a nice starting point.

“Ohh surely we know the nutritional value of a carrot… Even Google knows the nutritional value of a carrot!”, you say after a simple web search.

First - we’re researchers, we love skeptical. Skeptical is good :) ...

... go to the Patreon page to read more and see how you can help

Codevelop the Bionutrient Meter

$377 and a few afternoons at home

We are developing a device to measure nutritional content of food in fields and stores. The long term goal is to use real-time nutritional information to drive more nutritionally dense produce in our food supply. And we're making sure that technology and data remains free (as in freedom).

But we can't do it alone! We need beta testers, citizen scientists, and curious people to keep things moving... currently, we need to better understand...

  • How much spectral variation is there in different types of foods from different sources?
  • Does that variation relate to taste?
  • Does that variation relate to variety, source, time of year, etc?

We will send you the Bionutrient Meter and directions to perform simple experiments at home that will contribute to citizen driven research program. Over time we'll add more experiments and you'll have the chance to create your own. Together as farmers and consumers, we can take control of our shared technological densities!

This type of research is both expensive and hard to do without an active and engaged community, so your participation literally makes it possible. The Bionutrient Meter and kit IS NOW AVAILABLE for pre-order!

Become a Citizen Science Partner

1 - 3 hours per week throughout the summer and fall

Community Partners are the vanguard of the RFC - so we need you! Community Partners commit to mail samples throughout the summer and fall to the RFC Lab. The sample flow from Community Partners allows us to:

  • Have an independent, geographically diverse survey of food quality in the US.
  • Collect lab measurements and spectral data to calibrate the handheld Bionutrient Meter, which will eventually be used by consumers to non-destructively predict the nutritional density of food.

We will help develop a sampling plan that works for you, so that our samples come from all varieties of stores, farmers markets, and farms. Your participation makes this kind of survey possible, giving us access to a range of produce that would be nearly impossible for us to collect from a single location.

Community Partners can be anyone, but are often:

  • Agronomists, consultants or other agriculture professionals who are already visiting farms during their normal day
  • Foodies who enjoy visiting farmers and farmers markets and would do it anyway
  • BFA chapters and gardeners who have a large, diverse group of growers in a close area.

We will supply you with everything you need to be effective, including sampling supplies, data collection training, and prepaid shipping envelopes to return your samples. Contact us to learn more!

Become a Grower Partner

10 minutes a week, and 2 - 3 days for on-farm food/soil sampling

Grower Partners should have a working farm, with a variety of fruits, vegetables, or small grains grown. These farmers help us answer how farm practices lead to changes in nutrition by collecting granular data throughout the season.

Grower Partners fill out a brief survey once per week describing activities in a few fields, like addition of amendments, irrigation, or tillage. Then two or three times during the year they collect food and soil samples from those fields to send in for lab testing, submitting between 15 and 50 samples total. These samples are processed at our lab, and we return a detailed report on nutrient density and soil nutrition. This information is indispensable to growers with a desire to understand how their management practices influence plant health, soil health, and crop nutrition.

You don’t need special equipment, and we send you everything you’ll need, including pre-paid sampling envelopes. In addition, we provide ongoing access to your information through our interactive data explorer tools, and you have the benefits of being part of a far-reaching community of growers dedicated to improving soil, plant, and human health.

Become an Organizational Partner

Commitment of time, funds, or capacity

Our organizational partners are a diverse group. If you’re a decision-maker in the food supply chain, a research director, or a passionate food advocate in a volunteer organization, we would love to work with you. We want to support your ability to access high-quality nutritional information, and collaborate to build our public library of nutrient density outcomes.

The RFC can provide:

  • Access to our database, which includes thousands of nutrient density records linked to soil nutrition and farm practices. It currently covers 21 crops collected from a diverse array of stores, farmers markets, and farms across the USA and Europe, and is constantly growing.
  • Ongoing access to your information through our interactive data explorer tools.
  • Data and sample collection training, field kits containing sample bags and prepaid shipping supplies, and support throughout the season to implement personalized sampling plans.
  • The backing of the Real Food Campaign, Bionutrient Food Association, and other RFC partners.
  • Lab analysis and detailed reports on nutrient density and soil nutrition outcomes returned within 3-6 weeks, allowing you to pinpoint the measurements that matter to you.

Organizational Partners support the RFC and Bionutrient Food Association by expanding our capacity to answer core questions. As a member, you will join a community dedicated to transparency, scientific integrity and a commitment to raising the bar on nutritional density in the food supply.

Residency at the RFC Lab

1 - 3 weeks, you cover travel

You can come for 1 - 3 weeks to use our lab, our incoming samples, and/or our data to answer your research questions. We process 30 - 60 soil and food samples per week using easily replicable methods for soil and food quality.

Examples:

  • Student looking to publish on new or unique data
  • Researching a specific compound, and interested in testing its presence in a broad sampling of foods.
  • Developing a new testing method and need a variety of samples to develop, improve, and validate it.
  • You want to collect your own samples and run them through our process.

It is likely (though not guaranteed) we can find a free place to stay and over most dinner meals. Contact lab@bionutrient.org with your idea, and we will do our best to make it work.

Get Involved