Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dining Halls

Today is my third day of being a locavore. It is proving to be quit challenging on the school meal
plan, especially snack wise. I find that I get really hungry during the day, and it’s hard to find local snacks other than apples. I am enjoying the purple hash that I made. If anyone is planning on being local, being off the meal plan will give you quit an advantage. Despite the challenges of being on campus going local has forced me to make healthy food choices. I have not been using oil in my cooking, even with our oil rule. It actually does not make a huge difference in the taste of things if I cook it in water, especially if one uses a lot of garlic, which makes it rather yummy.

Keepin’ it Local

For two of my local meals so far, I have gone to Cook dining facility on campus. For one of these
meals, I spoke with Jim Kingzett, the chef at the Cook dining hall, about the local food options on
campus. He said that Sodexo has been working with local farmers and Black River distributing company to get more local food options on campus. The problem, he says is that local farmers cannot produce the vast quantity of produce that the school cafeterias need to feed the 8,000 students that eat at the dining halls in one day. Cook alone feeds 1,500 students in one day.

Local Food Stand at Cook Dining Hall
Another problem, Jim explained was that students usually go for staples such as burgers, fries,
and pizza. The healthier foods, where local foods are mostly put to use, do not sell as well as the staples. Cook has recently added a vegetarian station which contains healthy foods, but Jim said that the
vegetarian station only accounts for 5% of all the food taken and consumed at Cook dining hall. It seems to me that the main problem lies in encouraging students to eat unprocessed foods and vegetables. If students demand healthy foods, then it will be easier to incorporate local food produce into the meals at Cook and other dining facilities. Even if local foods cannot be the main component of University lunches, it would be nice to see them be a larger percentage of meals on campus.

Currently most local foods make their way into UVM meals during the spring and end of
summer when local produce is at its peak of production. During the winter, there are relatively few
fruits and vegetables that can be sold for mass consumption. The foods that Cook carries that are local
are often in the form of salad dressings, mustards, jams, crackers, bread, apples, green beans, corn, and
squash. The chefs who work at Cook usually do not know what local foods they have used in crafting
dishes for students. However, the local foods that are served-as-is for the students do receive a label
indicating that it is a local food. The label is black, yellow, and green and depicts a sun rising behind a
landscape of mountains. It was designed by Jim.

Label on the apples at Cook dining facilities

No comments:

Post a Comment