As students are becoming more concerned about food quality and sustainability and nutrition issues, universities are challenged to adjust their menus to fit the needs of their student population. There are two common options for sustainable eating – organic and local. Organic food is grown without the use of chemicals and pesticides. Local food might not be organic, but has a smaller “footprint” because it travels fewer miles, and it supports the local community.
The University of California, Berkeley has committed to organic salad bars in their dining halls. The largest dining hall on campus, and the three others, have certified Organic salad bars. They have a separate prep station, and the organic veggies are not usually mixed into other meals. Most of the salad bar food comes from a 150 mile radius (sounds local to me).
Kenyon College in Ohio uses local food, including a student-run farm right on campus. Check out Kenyon’s Food for Thought, a program designed to help local farmers and provide quality food at the same time.
Duke University also uses organic and locally grown food. About 20% organic and 35-70% local food can be enjoyed at Duke. Green Mountain College has a Farm and Food Project, which focuses on local foods. They have a student run farm, but like many small farms, they aren’t pursuing organic certification because of costs, and limited options. Plus, they say people know how the food is grown and they trust the students. They do, however, run their greenhouses on solar and wind power, and students can “participate in our internship program with the vineyard, farm, and agricultural museum at Brunnenburg Castle in Italy.” Excellent!