While it may be spooky season, something far less spooky was celebrated on campus this past week–Local Foods Week! Last week our campus embraced the great local farmers, companies, and restaurants of New York State and the Rochester area and featured many different dishes, tastings and popups.
Last week featured foods like local honey in Connections, a pasta tasting outside of Hillside, and an Apple Fest Lunch in Douglass. Dining Team Green’s instagram page, @ursustainibble, kept students updated through instagram stories on where the events were happening. Local Foods Week brought the greater New York state area to our campus, and allowed all of us to experience all it has to offer. Dining Team Green also displayed an expression wall outside of the Paul Burgett Intercultural Center on the 3rd floor of Douglass. This expression wall asked students for feedbackon sustainability within dining so the team could answer their questions directly.
However, it’s not just Local FoodsWeek where we are lucky enough to have local food. Currently, 62% of our food is locally sourced, meaning it was manufactured, produced, or grown right here in New York State. Looking further into the food breakdown, 20% of all produce on campus is now locally sourced. You may have noticed some delicious donut peaches in Douglass earlier this semester as a result of this initiative.
Local food is important for a variety of reasons. It takes much less energy and resources to get the food to campus based on it’s closer distance. Due to the decreased distance, the food is allowed to ripen more naturally due to shorter transportation times, making it a more nutritious item. In addition, local food supports small farms, small businesses, and local ecosystem services.
On Wednesday, Dining Team Green, Facilities Team Green, and the University Council on Sustainability got together to host a Sustainability Forum, where students came to learn about current initiatives, ask questions, and make suggestions for sustainability on campus. This event also featured a vegan menu of hors d’oeuvres with local ingredients as well. Did you miss it? Check out our live stream of the event!
By supporting local foods and promoting them on our campus, we not only help the economy of the local community, but we help the environment as well! While Local Foods Week may be featured this week, keeping local food on our campus is a permanent initiative!
Go green with Dining Team Green! Want more information on sustainability in dining? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @ursustainibble. Contact us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!
Guest Post Written by Phoebe Konecky, Class of 2021, Dining Team Green Sustainability Intern