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Admissions: UP and Food Sustainability
Food on College Campuses
Eating on a college campus is a unique experience. There are expansive choices of where to eat, when to eat, and what kinds of food to eat. It may seem like dining out for every meal at first, but campus food requires more thought than typically given to a meal at a restaurant.
Some facts you may not have considered:
Almost all meals are eaten on campus, from a campus food source. This can lead to eating a lot of the same food each week, which can be a healthy pattern or a not so healthy one.
· Campus food is a factor just as important as classes, athletics, and housing options when choosing a college. What you eat impacts your success and happiness at school.
· The “Freshman 15” is commonly referred to, but why do students often gain weight? It can be challenging at some schools to find a variety of healthy food options and easy to choose the quick, and less healthy foods. Some school's food programs, such as the University of Portland’s, make it much easier to choose healthy and great tasting meals.
An increasing number of schools are focusing on gourmet, specialized menus. This is a wonderful change for college students, but fancy food is not synonymous with healthy, good food. It is important to look at the specifics of the food being served. Is it local? What kinds of ingredients are being used? What values are guiding menu choices? These are questions every prospective student should be asking about food on college campuses.
Food at University of Portland
Bon Appétit Management Company provides all of the food at UP. Bon Appétit was founded by Fedele Bauccio, an alumnus of UP. They manage 400 locations in the U.S., but you probably would not guess that they are such a large company while eating in The Commons, the main dining hall on campus. The food is fresh, local, and prepared in front of you. From a student’s perspective, the many choices and accommodations to dietary needs make eating healthy easy and an expected part of campus dining. Some favorite options include fresh salmon, specialty salads, made to order sushi, and house-made pizza.
Eating local and sustainable food is important for the personal, economic, and environmental reasons listed below, but the challenging task is making the choice to eat with a conscience. Considering food when making your college decision will help you choose a school that will support you in this vital part of campus life.
Personal Benefits of Sustainable Eating
While eating local, sustainable food benefits the community and the environment, it can also benefit you. A meal created with fresh, seasonal produce not only tastes better but is better for you. The personal advantages of a sustainable diet are important.
Studies have shown that locally purchased food often contains more nutrients than processed or commercially grown food.
· More nutritious foods physically benefit your body by providing more energy and nourishment.
· A healthy diet fosters stronger academic activity, increased energy for athletics, and a healthier body weight.
· The satisfaction of supporting a sustainable lifestyle for yourself and nearby businesses can help you feel good about what you eat.
Participating in local and sustainable eating habits provides ample, personal advantages. Knowledge about the food you consume can help you make informed decisions about healthy and sustainable eating, providing benefits for you and your community.
Economic and Environmental Benefits of Local Food
What are the economic and environmental benefits of local food?
Money stays local
Many local farmers are not making enough money to cover the costs of production, causing many to take on second jobs. If consumers spent 1% of their money on local food, then local farmers would gain 5% more income.
· When buying local food you are keeping the money in the local economy, therefore boosting our economy.
· This will also contribute to the local economy because it employs more people, producing more income, so that those people could then put that money back into the economy.
Local farmers’ markets attract a variety of people, putting the money they spend back into the farms.
· The people who travel here also spend money on other things, which puts money into the local economy.
No Negative Environmental Impact
Sustainable farming techniques avoid the use of harmful chemicals. Local food does not have a large carbon footprint because the produce is not transported far.