Social Change in the School CafeteriaPosted: April 8, 2012
So, I just wanted to tell you guys that I freakin’ got LOCAL, ORGANIC food in the cafeteria. ME. We had a health and wellness picnic where the bulk of the the food was fresh from the local farmer’s market. The pasta was from Whole Foods. I got called into the back of the cafeteria kitchen where I was asked to make up the menu off the top of my head.
- Grilled Chicken w/Peaches and Chipotle
- Vegetarian Pasta
- Green Beans with Sautéed Fried Beef
- Sweet potato Fries w/Cheese
- Butternut Squash
- Assorted Breads
- Strawberry Medley Mix of Fruit
It was a part of a Mini-term project. What’s mini-term? A 10 day period where we had no classes and got the chance to pick an “educational” project on campus or travel abroad. I decided to stay on campus this year and I picked the project “Farm to Fork.” It was all about eating local foods (yum yum in my tum tum) and learning about sustainable agriculture by taking field trips to an urban homestad, local farms, the local farmer’s marker, and listening to guest speakers.
We were required to work on a project that helps provide greater access to local foods for our students who don’t have a lot of time, don’t have cars, and not allowed much more than a microwave. On a whim, I suggested we incorporate a main local food ingredient in vegetarian and meat entrees in the cafeteria once a month. Then, I got assigned that as my project. I talked it over with the symbolic, overbearing authority figure whom no one likes, known as Mrs.B and quickly got it approved with a date and everything… That was easy.
The food was amazing and I realized how much of a difference you can taste with fresh food grown with love in nutritionally dense soil compared to chemically over processed vegetables.
The advertising for the event was poor, with most students unaware that the delicious food was locally grown. After spring break, I’ll be speaking with the Mrs.B even more, finding the most cost effective ways to incorporate local foods into the cafeteria. I choose initiating change there because that’s where it’s most effective, even if we were to only to tweak little things. Purchasing local foods would cost about the same as conventionally grown ones if they are in season. If it works out well, who knows? It could happen more than once a month.
So, yeah, I did that.