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Santa Clara University's Dining Services Challenges Campus to Eat Local

Thursday, Sep. 22, 2011

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 22, 2011Bon Appétit Management Company is challenging students, faculty, and staff at Santa Clara University to eat 100 percent local on Sept. 27. All ingredients for all of the day’s meals will come from local farmers and artisans within 150 miles of the school’s dining facility—the only exception is salt.
 
The Eat Local Challenge not only highlights the chefs’ creativity, but it also educates the campus community about eating locally and seasonally, as well as supports and publicizes great local farmers, who will also be on campus.
 
“We have relationships with more than 160 local farmers, including Oya Organics, which started last year by Marsha Habib, a former advisor and farm manager for SCU’s Bronco Urban Gardens (BUG) program,” says Robert Lubecky, General Manager of SCU Dining Services. “Oya is now one of our top local suppliers for tomatoes and strawberries.”
 
The Eat Local Challenge started in 2005, and the chefs are growing increasingly creative with their meals every year, especially since it’s not as easy as it may sound. Want bread? They have to find locally grown wheat and yeast. How about a turkey sandwich? They need to locate a turkey farm close to campus, too.
 
Lubecky says food that is grown locally is fresher and dramatically more flavorful than food that is harvested early. Locally-produced food often arrives at markets within 24 hours of being picked, while food from non-local sources may have been in transit for more than seven days and been warehoused for many months.
 
Eating locally also helps reduce the immense amount of non-renewable resources wasted in transporting food. According to the Worldwatch Institute, food in the U.S. travels between 1,500 and 2,500 miles from farm to table, which is as much as 25 percent farther than two decades ago. That shipping and trucking does incredible damage to the environment in the form of global warming and air pollution. 

In addition, local farmers, who use more sustainable growing practices, act as stewards of the land. By buying from local growers, consumers help support sustainable farming practices that nourish and replenish the local land rather than stripping it. Consumers have the power to ensure that the food they buy is produced in a manner that steers away from pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.
 
As a final advantage, buying locally keeps money in the local community, and those benefits extend far beyond the eaters and farmers. With the economic downturn and the healthcare crisis both at the top of the news, the simplest acts, like choosing wholesome foods produced close to home can have an impact on both.
 
About Santa Clara University 
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.
 
About Bon Appétit
Bon Appétit Management Company (www.bamco.com) is an onsite restaurant company offering full foodservice management to corporations, universities and specialty venues. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local foods for all cafés throughout the country. A pioneer in environmentally sound sourcing policies, Bon Appétit has developed programs addressing local purchasing, the overuse of antibiotics, sustainable seafood, cage-free eggs, and most recently, the connection between food and climate change. The company has received numerous awards for its work from organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council, Seafood Choices Alliance, The Humane Society of the United States, and Food Alliance. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Bon Appétit has more than 400 cafés in 30 states, including eBay, the University of Pennsylvania and the Getty Center.
 
Media Contact
Connie Kim Coutain | ccoutain@scu.edu | 408-554-5126 O | 408-829-4836 C

Tags: artisans, Bon Appetit, Eat Local Challenge, farmers, Sept. 27

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