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Academic Partnerships

The University of Reading is proud to be  committed to the Menus of Change 24 Principles of Healthy and Sustainable Menus. Menus of Change®: The Business of Healthy, Sustainable, Delicious Food Choices is a ground-breaking initiative from The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that works to realise a long-term, practical vision integrating optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice industry and the culinary profession. You can read more about Menus of Change at Reading here.

We are also a member of the Menus of Change Universities Research Collaborative (MCURC) network, an international group of leading Universities with the aim of Cultivating the long-term well-being of all people and the planet— one student, one meal at a time. This is achieved by taking an evidence-based approach to furthering the principles through research and teaching, led by Residential and Dining Enterprises at Stanford University and the Culinary Institute of America. An overview of MCURC is here.

We are working in collaboration with other University departments to conduct and carry out research at the University and with other members of MCURC. A core aim of MCURC is to bring together academia and food service operations, breaking down the siloed approach, acting as one University, covering a broad range of food and environmental related subjects including, but not exclusively, agriculture, nutrition, public health, medicine, food sciences, environmental sustainability, psychology, biological sciences and business.

This approach allows us to develop a leading food service operation that is representative of our leading teaching and research, bringing benefits to the wider University community such as improved nutrition, mental health and wellbeing and physical fitness. In conjunction with this, our Dining Rooms and Kitchens will act as Living Laboratories that support formal teaching and research as well as informal and experiential learning, improving the well-being of our community and planet.

We welcome University of Reading students and staff, at all academic and study levels, to engage with us to make use of our facilities and dining environments to further MCURC objectives and support learning (formal and informal) in this area, including taught modules (e.g. through real world data or looking at practical issues), projects, dissertations and thesis. 

Research areas are broadly split into either Academic or Operational, covering six core themes of Plant-Forward Diets, Food Waste Reduction, Reduced Portion Size, Carbohydrate Quality, Healthy Hydration and Behavioural Change.

For further information or to express an in interest in joining the Working Group please contact Lauren Moriaty-Wells, Executive Support for the University of Reading MCURC Working Group.