Bad news for students who came to Johns Hopkins hoping for old-fashionedly awful cafeteria food.

Goodbye traditional sloppy Joes. Hello massive varieties of apples and Baltimore-made pickles. And, we suppose, maybe sloppy Joes made from locally-sourced beef.

One third of the food served at Johns Hopkins University will come from what the school describes as "local, sustainable, humane and fair-trade" sources by 2020, per a student-led initiative that the university signed onto in early November.

The Baltimore Sun has details:

In six years, the college plans to increase its servings of local, sustainably grown food to 35 percent of all ingredients, becoming one of a handful of universities nationwide to make such a commitment about its cuisine.

The move comes at a time of growing interest in where food comes from and how it is grown. More than a dozen small urban farms are scattered throughout Baltimore, including one started by Hopkins students on its nearby Eastern campus on 33rd Street.

"This is a significant investment, not just in the health of our students, faculty and staff, but in the wellbeing of our city and region," President Ronald J. Daniels said in a news release. "It demonstrates our commitment, as the city's largest private employer, to sustaining the community we call home."

Real Food Challenge, the organization behind the push toward these changes, says on its website that the group "leverages the power of youth and universities to create a healthy, fair and green food system":

Our primary campaign is to shift $1 billion of existing university food budgets away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources—what we call “real food”—by 2020.

The Real Food Challenge also maintains a national network of student food activists—providing opportunities for networking, learning, and leadership development for thousands of emerging leaders.

“As we build momentum and as more schools sign on, it’ll be easier for others to do it because more infrastructure for food distribution systems and best practices and knowledge will have been developed,” Real Food Challenge's mid-Atlantic regional coordinator, Jon Berger, told the AP.

If there's some indication that other schools in the area are going to follow suit, for now Johns Hopkins is one of fewer than 20 schools country-wide to take the Real Food Challenge pledge, which defines the acceptable foods thusly (though not entirely clearly) on its Real Food Challenge pledge agreement:

For the purposes of assessment and tracking, ‘real food’ is defined by a particular set of third-party certifications and other independently verifiable criteria. The Real Food Calculator organizes these criteria into four categories: community-based/local, fair, ecologically sound and humane. Items that fit any one of the four categories and are not otherwise disqualified are counted. Items that fit two or more categories receive special status. For example, produce from an independently owned farm within 250 miles of the institution may be considered “Community-based/local.” A Fair Trade Certified beverage that is also Certified Organic may be considered “Fair” and “Ecologically Sound.”

The basic pledge is for schools to buy 20 percent of their food from contractually-acceptable sources by 2020; according to the Sun, Johns Hopkins is one of a small handful of schools to up the ante -- which is especially noteworthy since the university's president decided on his own to increase that figure to 35 percent:

The university originally agreed that 20 percent of what it serves would be "real food." But at a dinner this month to celebrate the agreement, where students prepared a kale salad and chicken chili from locally sourced ingredients, Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels "took out his red lawyer pen and crossed out 20 and wrote 35" percent on a copy of the university's pledge, said Jon Berger, an organizer who worked with the students.

"It was so unexpected for us," Raychel Santo, a student organizer, told the paper. "It will definitely present a challenge because we set it so high. It's not going to be easy to do, especially in the winter, but it's still really exciting."

Even before the pledge goes into effect, the university is working to incorporate challenge-meeting foods into its dining halls. For example, eighty percent of its beef is locally-purchased, and all milk comes from two Pennsylvania dairies, per a JHU news release. Students are also provided Baltimore-made hot sauce and pickles, salad greens grown in Baltimore, as well as some 25 varieties of Pennsylvania-grown apples.

"There's a lot of problems in our food system," Raychel Santo said to the Sun. Food "is so connected to everything, it presents a big solution. Maybe if we can fix these problems little by little, maybe we can fix some of the other problems of our society as a whole."

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Olivia Wilde

    <em>House</em> actress Olivia Wilde was <a href="" target="_hplink">crowned 2010's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity</a>, along with fitness guru Bob Harper, by PETA. Wilde, previously vegan, abandoned that diet this year following her divorce from filmmaker Tao Ruspoli, <a href="" target="_hplink"> reported.</a> The site writes she told <em>Cosmopolitan</em> magazine: "I was hardcore vegan for years. When everything in my life became a little hectic, going through the divorce and everything afterward, I was like, 'I need some goddamn cheese.' And so I had some cheese." On her website <a href="" target="_hplink">she says</a>: "I'm a firm believer in the adage 'your dollar is your vote.' Often we forget the power of each of our purchases." She adds: "Sadly it is incredibly difficult to ensure that you are not perpetuating a cycle of cruelty that is only getting worse as demand rises and profits grow."

  • Russell Brand

    PETA has crowned comedian Russell Brand <a href="" target="_hplink">Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2011</a> alongside actress Kristen Wiig. Brand, who has been vegetarian since he was 14-years-old, said, "You shouldn't eat animals, it's mean to them," PETA wrote. <a href="" target="_hplink">According to the <em>Daily Mail</em></a> he said: "Even as a junkie I stayed true to vegetarianism." He added, "I shall have heroin, but I shan't have a hamburger." According to the report, Brand's wife, singer Katy Perry, gave up eating meat two years ago to keep him happy but has found it difficult to stick to the diet.

  • Jessica Chastain

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Winning the much-coveted title of PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian 2012</a>, the "Tree of Life" and "The Help" star knows how to take care of her body and soul. "I don't want to torture anything," <a href="" target="_hplink">Chastain said in a PETA press statement</a>. "While I am on this planet, I want everyone I meet to know that I am grateful they are here." The fiery redhead says she's been a vegetarian for 15 years and a vegan for 5.

  • Ben Stiller

    After a challenging inner struggle, Ben Stiller finally came out to his parents... as a vegan. "They were a little bit confused at first, but now they're supportive," the star told Conan on his show this summer. Although Stiller is not fully vegan (he still eats some fish, but no eggs, milk, or other animal proteins) the star is adjusting to his newly herbivorous diet. According to Ecorazzi, <a href="" target="_hplink">Stiller attributes his ability to perform sans stunt double</a> on the set of his new movie "The Watch" to his recent dietary changes.

  • Anne Hathaway

    Actress Anne Hathaway has had an on-again/off-again relationship with a meat-free diet. but according to the most recent reports, she is currently a a vegetarian. <a href="" target="_hplink"> reported</a> the actress had trouble while in the UK in August. <a href="" target="_hplink">In an interview with <em>Metro</em></a> in December 2010, Hathaway said: "I've actually been a commitment-shy vegetarian since I was about 12. I wasn't all that committed, to be honest, and then when I was in England filming One Day, I don't know what happened but I just didn't want to eat meat any more. But I was still eating fish. And then I was sent a copy of Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. I read it and that was it for me in terms of being able to eat fish - which is a shame because I really enjoy the taste but I just can't support the way fish are farmed and caught." The Mother Nature Network reports that after wrapping up filming for "The Dark Knight Rises," <a href="" target="_hplink">Hathaway took the plunge and dedicated herself to a (mostly) vegan diet</a>, but admits to indulging in chocolate desserts every now and then.

  • Kristen Wiig

    "Bridesmaids" actress Kristen Wiig has been named <a href="" target="_hplink">PETA's 2011 Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity</a> alongside comedian Russell Brand. According to PETA, Wiig stays healthy by eating a lot of tofu and soy.

  • Bill Clinton

    Former U.S. president Bill Clinton has opted for a vegan diet to improve his health since having quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 and stent surgery in 2010, <a href="" target="_hplink">according <em>USA Today</em></a>. Clinton does not eat beef, chicken or dairy. A big move for someone known for their love of burgers and junk food. <em>USA Today</em> reported Clinton said he lost 24 pounds last year in time for his daughter Chelsea's wedding.

  • Natalie Portman

    Actress Natalie Portman <a href="" target="_hplink">wrote for The Huffington Post in 2009</a>: "Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals changed me from a twenty-year vegetarian to a vegan activist." In 2011, <a href="" target="_hplink">ABC News reported</a> she returned to her vegetarian diet while pregnant with her first child. "I actually went back to being vegetarian when I became pregnant, just because I felt like I wanted that stuff," Portman told the radio's Q100 "Bert Show." "I was listening to my body to have eggs and dairy," ABC reported. In 2007, the star launched her own vegan shoe line, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to</a> Portman was voted <a href="" target="_hplink">PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2002</a> alongside actor Tobey Maguire.

  • Mike Tyson

    Boxing champion and vegan Mike Tyson <a href="" target="_hplink">spoke with Fox News</a> about switching to an animal product-free diet earlier this year. In the interview, Tyson says he became a vegan two years ago after his wife was trying out different weight-loss diets and says he "feels awesome" even though he "forgets to eat sometimes." "(I feel) incredible. I wish I was born this way. When you find out about the processed stuff you have been eating. I wonder why I was crazy all those years." He adds, "All that garbage I was eating running around, the drugs didn't help either."

  • Pamela Anderson

    Baywatch star and PETA activist Pamela Anderson let viewers know how she feels about non-vegetarians on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this year. <a href="" target="_hplink"> reports</a> that Anderson said, "I don't think I'd be a very good juror. You know, if you're not vegetarian--guilty!" Anderson <a href="" target="_hplink">appeared on a PETA campaign</a> in 2010 showing "All Animals Have the Same Parts" and encouraging people to ditch meat.

  • Tobey Maguire

    A vegetarian since 1992 and vegan since 2009, some reports suggest Tobey Maguire doesn't allow leather in his house, even making guests remove any leather clothing before they come through the front door, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">The actor was PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2002</a> alongside actress Natalie Portman.

  • Kristen Bell

    Actress and animal activist Kristen Bell has been a vegetarian for more than 16 years, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to <em>Vegetarian Times</em>.</a> She told the site in 2010: "I had a lot of quirks as a child. One was that I didn't like to eat meat: I didn't like to chew it, didn't like the taste or smell of it, and just wasn't having any of it. I was in the minority of kids who actually loved fruits and vegetables." She added, "When I was little, I loved my dogs so much. Part of my becoming a vegetarian was that I would look at my burger, then look at my dogs, and I wasn't able to see a difference." Bell was crowned <a href="" target="_hplink">Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2006</a> by PETA alongside singer Prince. In January 2012, <a href="" target="_hplink">the star and her fiance Dax Shepard decided to go vegan</a> after watching the documentary "Forks Over Knives," according to Ecorazzi.

  • Chris Martin

    PETA labeled Coldplay frontman Chris Martin <a href="" target="_hplink">Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2005</a>. <a href="" target="_hplink">Contact Music</a> writes that he and his wife Gwyneth Paltrow made "international headlines when they gave their daughter, Apple, a vegan birthday cake from Moby's New York eatery, <a href="" target="_hplink">Teany</a>."

  • Lauren Bush

    Model and niece of Former President George W. Bush, Lauren Bush was also labeled one of the <a href="" target="_hplink">World's Sexiest Vegetarians in 2003 by PETA</a>. In 2007, Bush launched <a href="" target="_hplink">FEED Projects</a> in conjunction <a href="" target="_hplink">with the UN World Food Program </a>. "I'm a vegetarian, so sometimes food isn't always my friend, but sometimes it's amazing. It's hit or miss. For me, (travel is) all about walking around, exploring and taking photos," she said.

  • Milo Ventimiglia

    Named by<a href="" target="_hplink"> PETA as 2009's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity</a> alongside musician Kellie Pickler, Milo Ventimiglia has been a vegetarian since he was "in the womb." In 2009, the Heroes actor <a href="" target="_hplink">appeared on the Bonnie Hunt Show </a>and talked about how he was raised vegetarian. "I was a vegetarian in the womb, I was doing it before it was a trend," he joked. "My parents have been vegetarian for 40 years. They raised my sisters and I vegetarian, we had a dog - he was vegetarian." He added that even when he branched out as a teenager to other foods it just "didn't sit well" with him.

  • Daryl Hannah

    Activist and strict vegan Daryl Hannah <a href="" target="_hplink">told <em>Vegetarian Times</em></a> in 2010 she converted to vegetarianism at age 11 after bonding with a calf. "I noticed this truck full of calves and bonded with one in particular, who kept kissing me. After about an hour the truck driver came out of the restaurant. I asked him what the calf's name was, and he said, "Veal, tomorrow morning by 7 o'clock." That was it: I could no longer disassociate the creature from what was on my plate," she said in the interview.

  • Ellen DeGeneres

    Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres has been vegan since 2008. She launched her new website this year to help people who want to stop eating meat and animal products: <a href="" target="_hplink">Going Vegan with Ellen</a>. Last year, DeGeneres was<a href="" target="_hplink"> interviewed by Katie Couric</a> about becoming vegan: "I used to love cheeseburgers and steak, I just did what most people do, I had a disconnect. I decided it's more important to taste a cheeseburger and have a steak or have a turkey sandwich and it's easier and I put it out of my mind ... I read Skinny Bitch first and then I forced myself to watch a documentary called 'Earthlings' and it is inside footage of factory farms and dairy farms and you just see that and you go, "I can't participate in that, I can't be a part of something that is suffering and it's 50 billion animals a year that are killed," and I think we all fool ourselves that there is some happy cow and it's a quick death ... and it's a very disturbing reality ... I do it because I love animals and I saw the reality and I just couldn't do it anymore."

  • Kevin Eubanks

    Musician Kevin Eubanks was voted the <a href="" target="_hplink">World's Sexiest Vegetarian in 2007</a>, alongside Carrie Underwood by PETA. At the time, he <a href="" target="_hplink">released a vegetarian testimonial</a> dressed as a strawberry in which he says: "none of that cholesterol or animal fat for me, oh no. I want to enjoy every moment I can, I don't want my organs getting messed up with all that stuff."

  • Jane Goodall

    Primatologist, philanthropist, conservationist and vegetarian Jane Goodall <a href="" target="_hplink">said on</a> she switched to a plant-based diet after learning about factory farms in the early 1970s after reading Peter Singer's Animal Liberation. "I thought about the delicious pork chops that I loved, the heavenly smell of frying bacon in the morning. And all the roast chicken, casseroled chicken, fried chicken, and chicken soup that I had enjoyed during my life... When I saw meat on my plate, from that moment on, I should think of pain-fear-death. How horrible. And so it was clear. I would eat no more meat," she says.

  • Andy Lally

    NASCAR driver Andy Lally fuels himself on a vegan diet. He made the switch two years ago, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to</a> The site writes Lally said: "If (people) were able to see the mistreatment and what goes on and see what shows up to them in a nice shiny package." Earlier this year, <a href="" target="_hplink">at a visit to Farm Sanctuary</a>, Lally said: "By this point in human evolution, we should be smart enough and kind enough to live without torturing other living beings just so we can enjoy lunch, especially when there are so many delicious plant-based options available."

  • Kellie Pickler

    In 2008, country singer Kellie Pickler <a href=",,20236190,00.html" target="_hplink">told People Magazine</a> she stopped eating meat to improve her health but changed her reasoning after discovering animal cruelty videos online. "One night I couldn't sleep and I was up just Googling random stuff and I'm like, 'Hmmm, PETA.' I saw all the videos and I just thought it was horrible. It's animal cruelty. A lot of it has to do with knowing what happens to the animals and it really bothered me and so I will not eat meat," she said. Pickler was named <a href="" target="_hplink">Sexiest Celebrity Vegetarian of 2009</a>, alongside actor Milo Ventimiglia, by PETA.

  • Alec Baldwin

    <a href="" target="_hplink">According to,</a> Alec Baldwin said "he chooses an animal-free diet for the animals, for the environment, and for his health." Conflicting reports over the years suggest Baldwin may be an "on and off" vegetarian.

  • Anthony Kiedis

    Red Hot Chilli Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis was <a href="" target="_hplink">asked by Maxim this year</a> whether he would eat a fatty steak or some tempeh for his last meal, considering he was a vegan. "I'm not a true vegan. I dabble in sustainable fish and dawdle in the consumption of eggs. Steak doesn't speak to me, and tempeh is so-so. I'll savor a solitary apricot that's been kissed by my baby," Kiedis answered. The musician was labeled <a href="" target="_hplink">Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2008 by PETA</a>, alongside singer Leona Lewis. After acquiring the title, Kiedis <a href="" target="_hplink">told AccessHollywod</a> animal cruelty videos convinced him of his switch to veganism. "Soon after I [went vegan] I saw some documentary footage of what happens in the factory farming of cows ... It sealed the deal," the rocker said.

  • Leona Lewis

    Singer Leona Lewis was labeled <a href="" target="_hplink">Sexiest Vegetarian of 2008 by PETA</a> alongside rocker Anthony Kiedis. In 2010, she <a href="" target="_hplink">told</a> she had a vegan clothing line in the works. <a href="" target="_hplink">In the interview, </a>she told the site she looked for alternative materials when buying clothes and accessories. For example, she doesn't buy leather products. The animal activist turned down a $1 million dollar deal in 2008 with Mohamed Al Fayed to open a Harrods sale. <a href="" target="_hplink">According to the Daily Mail</a>, she turned down the deal because the UK department store "continues to stock clothing made from animal fur." <a href="" target="_hplink">According to <em>Modern Dog</em>, Lewis</a> began the campaign "Animals Matter To Me" asking for public support for the World Society for the Protection of Animals' mission. "I've been a vegetarian since I was twelve," she told the magazine.

  • Paul McCartney

    Vegetarian Paul McCartney urged India earlier this year to <a href="" target="_hplink">declare a national Vegetarian Day</a>. The singer sent a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh suggesting the day to "celebrate meat-free living and a compassion towards animals," a report said. McCartney's letter says, "it would be a celebration of life."

  • Carrie Underwood

    Earlier this year, <a href="" target="_hplink">PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2007 and 2005</a> Carrie Underwood announced she had rid all animal products from her diet, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to</a> The site reports she told Australian television show <em>The Circle</em>: "I recently made the switch to vegan because I'm actually kind of lactose intolerant." The singer said she became a vegetarian at age 13 when she realized what happened to animals on her family's farm.

  • Alicia Silverstone

    Hollywood star and vegan Alicia Silverstone bares all in a<a href="" target="_hplink"> Veggie PETA testimonial</a>. She writes on their website: "Now when I see a steak, it makes me feel sad and sick because right away, I see my dog or the amazing cows I met at a sanctuary. I've been vegan for 10 years, and it's the single-most important and helpful decision I have ever made." Silverstone -- <a href="" target="_hplink">PETA's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity in 2004</a> -- adds: "I am doing everything I can to reduce animal suffering with simple lifestyle choices like being vegan, never wearing any products made from animals (like wool and leather), and buying only from companies that NEVER test their products or ingredients on animals."

  • Shania Twain

    Country singer Shania Twain was <a href="" target="_hplink">PETA's first Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity</a>, crowned in 2001. <a href="" target="_hplink">Blog writes</a> Twain kicked meat from her diet after marrying long time vegetarian Mutt Lange in 1993. The blog writes that Twain said she "was never really a fan of meat or a keen meat-eater and her diet does not include meat, fish or eggs."

  • Alyssa Milano

    Animal activist and actor Alyssa Milano launched a PETA ad in 2008 dressed in an outfit made entirely from green vegetables under the slogan "Let Vegetarianism Grow on You." <a href="" target="_hplink">According to, in 2008</a> Milano said: "The world has so much suffering in it already -- choosing to be vegetarian is one thing you can do to reduce the suffering on a daily basis." <a href="" target="_hplink">Blog says</a> the actress has a green thumb and loves veggies, even sticking to her vegetarian diet during her pregnancy in which she had cravings for broccoli and pickles.

  • Boy George

    Singer Boy George, who spent four months behind bars in 2009 for falsely imprisoning a male escort, <a href="" target="_hplink">told the <em>Daily Express</em></a> he worked as chef, preparing all-meatless food during his time in jail. "I'm a pretty good cook and made all the vegetarian food," he said. On September 18th, <a href="" target="_hplink">Boy George outed himself as a vegan</a> by tweeting "Rat meat for sale in London! F**king glad I'm vegan! # Not-Glamorous!"

  • Brad Pitt

    <a href="" target="_hplink">According to Naked Health</a>, actor Brad Pitt has been identified as a vegetarian throughout the years. There are rumors that his partner, actress Angelina Jolie's meat-eating habits have started to upset Pitt. Jolie was reportedly vegan until she said the plant-based diet nearly killed her.

  • Christina Applegate

    Actress and animal activist Christina Applegate <a href="" target="_hplink">told PETA</a> she stopped eating meat when she saw blood on her plate while at a restaurant. I was eating lunch on the Married With Children set, and they served me some kind of meat (I don't even know the names of them all anymore because it's been so long). I looked down and there was blood on my plate, and it was that realization, that I can't eat something that has been alive, I just can't do it," she said in the interview. Applegate was featured in a 2007 PETA Christmas-time campaign reminding shoppers not to buy fur as gifts.

  • Emmylou Harris

    <a href="" target="_hplink"><em>Vegetarian Star</em> writes</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">PETA's Sexiest Vegetarians Over 50</a> are in good company with vegetarians like Emmylou Harris falling into the category. The 62-year-old runs a dog shelter in Nashville, Tennesee, her hometown and is involved with organizations like<a href="" target="_hplink"> Best Friends Animal Society</a>, according to Vegetarian Star.

  • Bob Harper

    <em>Biggest Loser</em> trainer Bob Harper was crowned <a href="" target="_hplink">2010's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity</a>, along with actress Olivia Wilde, by PETA. Harper is a long time vegetarian-turned-vegan, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to Veg News.</a> He told the site his new diet made him feel "clear headed and strong." The 44-year-old fitness guru added: "Not to mention my genetically high cholesterol dropped more than 100 points. That was all the motivation I needed." However, Reuters reported in September 2011 that <a href="" target="_hplink">Harper has given up on the vegan lifestyle</a>: "I still believe that a plant-based diet has tremendous health benefits but I have incorporated more animal protein into my diet," the trainer admitted.