Dining hall hosts 150-mile meal

Williams College promotes sustainability by serving local foods to students.

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.—Mission Park dining hall hosted a 150-mile sustainable food breakfast last Wednesday. The meal boasted local foods raised and grown within a 150-mile radius of the College campus. A variety of foods including Hudson Valley cage-free eggs, East Mountain Farm sausage, Nitty Gritty Flour pancakes, Ioka Farms maple syrup and many other local products, were served to 276 students.

The meal was a successful continuation of the sustainable food initiative prompted by the student groups Real Food Williams and Thursday Nights Grassroots. Begun last year as part of a “No Impact” week, 150-mile meals seek to raise awareness of local sustainable food options and promote the efforts of dining services to reach higher levels of sustainability.

The 150-mile radius is set forth from the Real Food Challenge as a distance most advantageous for promoting the local food economy and reducing the effects of large-scale transportation of produce. The College took up this challenge with the intention of promoting close food sourcing, continuing a familiar relationship with the local community and achieving high levels of sustainability. Dining services has been involved in this initiative for many years and hopes to achieve a level of 20 percent “real food” by 2020 as defined by the Real Food criteria.

Since the inception of the 150-mile meals last year, the process of creating menus and finding locally grown food has become easier with the increased experience of Dining Services, students and faculty. While it is challenging to produce a full meal with only local options during the winter, dining services has actively pursued many different venues and used creativity to create nutritious and filling meals. They have also been able to balance the economic differences that occur due to the higher costs of local products by reducing extraneous items such as the soda machines, imported cereals and store brand breads. While some students were taken aback by the lack of coffee and other usual items at Mission’s breakfast, the meal brought into question the necessity of these items.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
tug hospital robot

Automation has opened up in recent years as foodservice operators across the country grapple with labor shortages. Robots deliver food trays to patients in hospitals, and they make sushi on college campuses. For some operators, they’re worthwhile to reduce strain on human employees and increase productivity.

Robots roamed the hallways when the University of California San Francisco Medical Center’s new Mission Bay campus opened last year. Though these robots have nicknames like Wall-E and Tuggie McFresh, they’re not a novelty. They’re a solution to a problem that administrators...

Ideas and Innovation
sandwich sub

At our corporate operation in the Kohl’s headquarters, two kinds of sandwiches are available daily—an artisan version and a more straightforward sub. While planning out a business model for the space, Kohl’s wanted something that was quality driven, but very sensitive to pricing for associates. Diners are comfortable spending about $6 to $7 for lunch.

Ideas and Innovation
usc asian remodel

With a prime location in Los Angeles, one of the nation’s foodie capitols, the University of Southern California has plenty of dining competition. So when Kris Klinger, assistant vice president of retail operations, discovered that students were heading off campus for sushi and noodle bowls, he knew it was time to take action. The construction of Fertitta Hall, part of the university’s Marshall School of Business, provided the opportunity.

Klinger and Gary Marschall, associate director of USC auxiliary services in hospitality, shared photos of both the new Fertitta Cafe and a...

Ideas and Innovation
sriracha bottles

Generally, I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions. They tend to be grandiose and unrealistic—and why not just resolve to start doing/not doing that thing you’re not doing/doing right away instead of going hog wild until Jan. 1? (New Year’s Day also is my birthday, and if you can’t eat at your favorite Thai restaurant and sip bubbly then, well, when can you?)

I do, however, enjoy the raucous singing of “Auld Lang Syne” to ring in the new year, though I’ve never been quite sure whether you’re supposed to be remembering the year fondly or happily putting it out of mind. While I...

FSD Resources