The University of Wisconsin – River Falls Food Science Program will soon be providing University Dining Services with cheese, ice cream and meat products. The products will have been made by students in the UWRF Food Science pilot plants under faculty and academic staff supervision. The pilot facilities include dairy manufacturing, fruit and vegetable processing and meat processing and all facilities meet state inspection requirements.
“This is a great opportunity for UDS to purchase more high-quality local foods and to support a sister campus’s efforts.” said Mark Hayes, Director of University Dining Services.
Premium ice cream products will be available in Lower DeBot as pints and in Upper DeBot as tubs. Several varieties of cheese will be available in Lower and brats and other meat products will begin trickling in this summer.
“We are looking to continually expand our local foods program and this is also an opportunity to support another campus’ program with products produced by students.” Hayes said.
To define local food
To further understand what local food is and why it is important, Lauren Nischan, president of Sustainable Agriculture in Communities Society, daughter of Michel Nischan, founder of Wholesome Wave, and UWSP student, was interviewed.
What is local food?
After sitting on the local-sourcing subcommittee of the Sustainability Task Force, we found that local food is food that is growing within 400 miles to most, but to truly buy local is to buy food that was grown within 150 miles. If you or your local community is somehow benefiting from the purchase, that food was technically purchased local.
In a more philosophical sense, local food is not only socially responsible, but also environmentally responsible as well. Local food is food that has been grown by your neighbors and bought from your neighbors. It’s food that has been transported over a shorter distance than most other foods, lessening the impact on the environment. Because the food goes pretty much directly from farm to table, the food is fresher and of better quality. It also tends to be more appropriate to the season.
Why is local food important?
Purchasing local food is important because it supports the local economy, decreases the use of energy and fossil fuels, and promotes the purchasing of local products in other areas.
Why should UWSP support local food?
UWSP should support local food because it will bring a variety of fresher, higher quality food to students’ tables, support the greater local community, and make less of an impact on the environment. Purchasing locally will also set a great example to buy more products locally as well, not just at UWSP, but at other schools.