Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eat Local Challenge Is On Tuesday, Sept. 25

Can we feed hundreds an entire meal made of only locally sourced food? At Andrews University’s Dining Services, the answer is yes, we can. On Tuesday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Dining Services will take part in Bon Appétit Management Company’s “Eat Local Challenge” by serving up lunch made entirely from ingredients sourced within 150 miles of Berrien Springs, Mich., with a vast majority of the ingredients sourced from the Andrews University Farm. The Eat Local Challenge is open to the public. Regular lunch prices apply, $7.75 (plus tax) for all you-care-to-eat. View the menu at the link below the photo.
 
The local farms and suppliers sourced for the “Eat Local Challenge” include: Andrews University Farm (Berrien Springs, Mich.); Leduc Blueberries (Paw Paw, Mich.); Michigan Sugar Company (Bay City, Mich.), Total Health Inc. (Buchanan, Mich.); Todd Griener Farms (Hart, Mich.) Windmill Island (Holland, Mich.); Guggisberg (Middlebury, Ind.); Rosewood Acres (Lansing, Mich.), Windmill Island (Holland, Mich.); Zeeland Foods (Zeeland, Mich.); Country Life (Paw Paw, Mich.); Carlson-Arbogast Farms (Lansing, Mich.) and Dave Pagel Farm (Berrien Springs, Mich.). Additionally, the breads were all locally baked by Apple Valley Bakery (Berrien Springs, Mich.).

This is the first year Gil Bell, owner of Total Health Inc., in Buchanan, has supplied produce for the event. “Eating local actually helps produce a much higher quality nutrient value in our food. The produce doesn’t have to travel across the county, losing nutrients with age, or be sprayed with preservatives in order to extend shelf life.”

This marks the third year Andrews University’s Dining Services has participated in the Eat Local Challenge. It is just one way Dining Services is accepting Andrews University President Niels-Erik Andreasen’s challenge to make Andrews the healthiest university in the United States. “Eating local has become a mainstream of our culture. It’s more popular than it used to be. But having an opportunity to eat a locally sourced meal is a different story,” says Jonathan Mark Daniels, general manager of Dining Services at Andrews University. “We want everyone to come and experience not just a component piece of a meal that is local, but an entire meal. We are taking ‘eating local’ from a conversation to a reality.”

One of the new locally sourced foods for this year is organic tofu from Rosewood Acres in Lansing, Mich. “Our student body loves tofu. They’ll choose it over, or along with, their eggs—scrambled eggs and tofu, or adding tofu to their omelets,” says Linda Briengar, executive chef at Dining Services. “Another great local source is our own Andrews Farm. They are providing things such as eggplant, butternut squash, yellow squash, carnival squash, acorn squash, basil, cilantro, parsley and sage. Andrews Farm is also providing us with what I’m calling ‘heirloom peppers,’ which includes four different kinds of peppers: pika, pueblo, Cheyenne and jalapeño.”

Bon Appétit Management, the onsite restaurant company that manages Andrews University’s Office of Dining Services, has over 400 Bon Appétit restaurants and cafés across the country participating in the Eat Local Challenge. As part of their partnerships with college and corporate campuses, Bon Appétit works to educate communities about the value of low-carbon diets and local purchasing, and the connection between food and climate change. Bon Appétit has been managing Andrews University Dining Services since June 2010.

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