Eat Local

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the noontime meal at the Saint Joseph's College dining hall will be not just home-cooked, but homegrown, when Café Bon Appétit on campus sponsors "Eat Local," a lunch featuring a menu made with Maine-grown ingredients - right down to the salt in the shaker. (SEE MENU BELOW)

"The idea is to increase the fresh flavor of the food, support local growers, which ultimately helps the environment, and preserve local farms and traditions," says Stuart Leckie of Naples, general manager of dining operations at Saint Joseph's.

Bon Appétit, the Saint Joseph's College food vendor, is committed to working with local food suppliers toward a sustainable future, says Leckie. "The goal is to use ingredients that are within a 150-mile radius of the café," he notes. The act of eating local, while seemingly simple, has far-reaching implications.

Food that is grown locally is fresher and more flavorful than food that is harvested early so it can be transported great distances. Local food picked at the height of freshness often makes it to market within 24 hours, while non-local food may be in transit for 7 days and warehoused for many months before that.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, an average mouthful of food now travels 1,400 miles from farm to table in the United States, as much as 25 percent farther than two decades ago. The entire vegetable and sundries order for Eat Local traveled just 627 miles.

Shipping and trucking damages the environment in the form of global warming and air pollution. Eating locally also helps reduce the immense amount of non-renewable resources (gasoline, etc.) involved in transporting food. In addition, local farmers, who use more sustainable growing practices, act as land stewards. Buying from local growers helps support sustainable farming practices that nourish and replenish the land and surrounding communities.

Educational material from Bon Appétit and other groups trying to protect our local food supply will be available at the Saint Joseph 's dining hall, along with displays from several Maine suppliers. Highlights will include Top 10 reasons to eat local, a glossary of words related to eat local issues, and five steps to eating local.

MENU

Tuesday, October 3 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Dining Hall, Lower Floor of Mercy Hall

All ingredients from within 150 miles

Wild Thymes
Fresh Herb Roasted Chicken
Vegetable Frittata
Steamed Spinach
Roasted Acorn Squash
Steamed Potatoes
3-Bean Medley

Global Fusion
Mussels Portuguese - sautéed mussels with white wine, garlic and kielbasa

The Grill
Fresh Hamburgers
Cottage Fries
Sweet Italian Sausage

Noodles
Homemade Meat Sauce
Homemade Marinara Sauce

Salad Bar
Fresh Spinach
Green Leaf and Red Leaf Mix
Cherry Tomatoes
Broccoli
Fresh Cheese Curd

Soups
Cream of Butternut Squash
Beefy Bean Chili

Desserts
Raspberry and Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Java Joe's Snack Bar
Grilled Reuben
Mister Bagel Bagels

Vendors include:
Grass-fed chicken, turkey, beef and pork from Little Alaska Farms in Wales, Maine

Vegetables, honey, syrup and beans from farms in Cape Elizabeth, Turner, Lewiston, Manchester, Readfield, Skowhegan, Detroit, Dresden, and Exeter, N.H., brokered through Farm Fresh Connection, a supplier of fresh Maine goods.

Also: Maine Sea Salt Company in Harpswell

Blacksmith Winery in Casco

Mussels grown in Casco Bay by marine science professor Mark Green

Matt Olson, Saint Joseph's College garden plot

Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook

September 26, 2006 Contact: Charmaine Daniels at (207) 893-7723 or e-mail cdaniels@sjcme.edu