The list of additives customers may ask about is long and complex, whether they’re antibiotics, dyes or nitrates. To start addressing these questions, Cornell University looked to guidance from the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, an approximately 50-member interuniversity organization that promotes nutritional food. Cornell’s seven-member Clean Ingredient Committee then took a step back and looked at the categories that matter most to its diners.

The result: Trans fats, dairy growth hormones such as rBST, artificial colors, artificial nitrates and MSG (previously found in some of its Italian sausages) have been eliminated or will be gone by the end of 2018.

And the changes have not increased costs, says Nutrition Management Director Michele Lefebvre. “There were brands coming forward that were either price neutral or a huge difference in cost,” she says. “Our distributor has been really supportive in finding some of these companies.”

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