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 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
$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...
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!
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 food and soil 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
- Correlate actual lab measurements and spectral data, progressing to the goal of a low-cost, handheld device to estimate nutritional content
An effective survey design will define the sampling regime for each Community Partner, so samples come from all variety of farms, farmer's markets, and farms. Collecting these samples in a centralized way is nearly impossible, and your participation makes this kind of survey possible and cost effective.
Community Partners can be anyone, but are often:
- agronomists/consultants or other ag professionals who are already visiting farms during their normal day
- foodies who enjoy visiting farmers and farmers markets and do it anyway
- or BFA chapters and gardeners who have a large diverse group of growers in a close area.
We will supply you with whatever you need to be effective, including a phone for collecting the data, bags for shipping samples, soil corers, etc. Contact us to learn more!
10 minutes a week, and 2 days - 3 days for on-farm food/soil sampling
Grower Partners help by answering what (if any) farm practices lead to changes in nutrition by collecting granular (weekly) farm-level data. Grower Partners will fill out a short (<10m) survey once per week describing activities in a few fields, like addition of amendments, irrigation, tillage, etc. Then 2 - 3 times during the year they collect food and soil samples from those fields to send in for lab testing (somewhere between 20 - 50 samples total).
Grower Partners should have a working farm, with a reasonable variety of fruits and/or veggies grown.
There is no cost, you don’t need special equipment,and we send you everything you’ll need (soil sampler, phone, sampling bags, etc.). In addition, for those interested, we will transfer the data you collect to a farmOS instance so you can continue to track your data into the future if you choose.
Commitment of time, money, or capacity
Institutional partnerships can vary widely: forward thinking food processors who want to improve transparency of nutrition in their supply chain, farmer organizations who want to begin connecting farm practice to nutritional outcomes, or university labs who want to use and expand on the RFC Lab's suite of measurements to push nutritional research in new directions.
Regardless of your institution, we want to help support your ability to increase nutritional density, in whatever form that takes. To that end, the RFC can provide:
- Sample collection of food and soil, through Community Partners and BFA members, from across the country in fields and farms
- Comparable, community-driven methods for collecting on-farm data
- Access to a collaborative lab engaged in Real Food Campaign, Bionutrient Food Association, and other RFC partners.
- The cooperation of individuals and organizations focused on transparency, comparability, scientific integrity and a commitment to raise the bar for nutritional density
Institutional partners help support the RFC's ability to operate its core functions, including outreach, food quality survey, and the development of a in-field bionutrient meter. The partnership is a commitment to a common goal: to increase the nutritional density of the food supply.
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.
It is likely (though not guaranteed) we can find a free place to stay and over most dinner meals. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea, and we will do our best to make it work.