About Us

The Vision

To collaborate on research and education in support of culinary-centric, evidence-based food systems innovation within and beyond universities. 

The Initiative

In 2012, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH)—Department of Nutrition launched Menus of Change an ongoing initiative to advance better food choices and menu development at the intersection of health, sustainability imperatives, culinary insight, and next-generation business strategy. With the success of the initiative’s third annual Menus of Change (MOC) Leadership Summit and following the release of its 2013-2017 annual reports, “Charting the Future of Food & the Foodservice Industry,” the CIA and Stanford University have launched a complementary initiative: the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC).

The MCURC is a working group of scholars and experts from invited colleges and universities interested in accelerating efforts to move American consumers—and college/university students, scholars, and staff in particular—toward healthier, more sustainable, plant-forward diets. The collaboration recognizes that a significant amount of energy for food systems transformation today is being driven by concerned university students and forward-looking faculty and administration, and understands that university food systems hold considerable untapped potential to further catalyze existing efforts.

In short, the MCURC recognizes that, in order to advance critical food issues, systems-level solutions are required that integrate academic, business, culinary, and consumer insights. One of the best ways to advance such thinking is by incubating novel collaborations in university-wide academic and foodservice settings—and innovative collaboration among universities.


To learn more, please download the complete Overview of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative.