Founded and jointly led by Stanford University’s Residential & Dining Enterprises, the Stanford Prevention Research Center at the School of Medicine, and the Culinary Institute of America, the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC) is a network of 115 members representing 41 institutions. Its purpose is to create a culture of sharing and innovation within and among colleges and universities using the Menus of Change principles that focus on health and environmental sustainability in campus dining operations, and to develop a research agenda related to those principles.

MCURC aims to impact the university and college food system by forming a synergistic network of university-based scholars, administrators, food service business leaders, and executive chefs to explore critical food issues within university settings, as well as to share these research findings with colleagues. The interdisciplinary strengths of the collaborative address the critical roles that culinary arts, menu design, ingredient sources, and restaurant layout can play in fostering changes toward more sustainable dining.

This initiative leverages the unique ability of universities to advance healthier, more sustainable lifelong food choices among students—who will soon be parents and adult decision makers—by connecting a diversity of insights from academic programs, dining services, and athletics (performance dining).