Have you ever wondered where your milk, meat, vegetables and other food come from? Does it matter if food has to travel far to arrive at its destination? Bon Appétit Management Company thinks so. That's why the company—which provides food and dining services at Case Western Reserve University— is issuing its fourth annual "Eat Local Challenge" on Tuesday, September 30. The day will feature a special lunch prepared completely from ingredients from within a 150-mile radius of the university, the only exception being salt.
Bon Appétit's Eat Local Challenge is a company-wide event. "We are very excited about bringing this event to Case Western Reserve University. We enjoy taking the opportunity to practice the low carbon diet (the connection between food and climate change) as well," said Beth Kretschmar, Bon Appetit's marketing manager at Case Western Reserve. "We try to buy locally as often as possible. It’s a way to enhance the flavor of our products, practice sustainability and give back to the community."
The company's chefs will expand on the "Farm to Fork" concept by preparing local menus at Leutner and Fribley Commons, the Biomedical Research Building Cafe (BRB) and Tomlinson Marketplace. Each location will feature different menus highlighting local ingredients available in late September.
In addition, there will be a farmer's market set up at the BRB on September 30, allowing customers an opportunity to purchase locally-grown food. In addition, information tables will be stocked with educational material from Bon Appétit and local farmers that are trying to protect the area's local food supply. Highlights will include: The State of the Family Farm, and Five Steps to Eating Local.
Linda Robson, the university's Finance & Administration Fellow for Energy Studies, said the company is setting a positive example. "Case Western Reserve’s sustainability efforts are greatly enhanced by our partnership with Bon Appétit. Not only is their food delicious, but it won’t weigh heavy on your conscience. The Eat Local Challenge highlights the ease of reducing each of our carbon footprints by choosing foods that come from local sources and eating seasonally. It's also a great way to showcase the abundance of great food we have right here in Northeast Ohio."
Robson said if campus members want to continue Bon Appétit’s lead of eating locally grown foods, it's easier than they might think. "If you’re eating out, choose a Cleveland Originals restaurant or check out Fresh Fork Market’s Web site for the "Where to Eat" page, listing more restaurants that buy local."
For those who prefer to cook at home, Robson suggests purchasing items from Cleveland-area farmers' markets and locally-owned grocery stores, which often stock area produce and other items.
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