Food is often a complaint in college. At big universities, there are multiple dining halls and food court dining areas all around campus. The students have a wide variety of options but are still not satisfied by the quality of the food. Here at Furman University, we have one dining hall for students and the PalaDen, which is a food court style dining option that includes a Chick-fil-A and a Moe’s along with The Paddock (a sit-down restaurant). The dining hall and The Paddock are run by a company called Bon Appetit. This company provides dining services to colleges and universities all over the United States. Bon Appetit has attempted to provide dining service for large numbers of people, while still being sustainable. They get food from local farms within a 150-mile radius. They only serve seafood that meets the Seafood Watch guidelines. Bon Appetit supports food providers who do not abuse antibiotics and hormones. Bon Appetit is working hard to try to become more sustainable and wants consumers to be confident when they are eating their food, knowing it was grown/raised sustainably and most likely came from a local farm.
Though Furman’s dining situation may not be perfect (for example, some students argue it lacks variety), knowing that the food produced is fresh and sustainable should bring peace of mind to consumers. Personally, I love the dining hall! It’s my preferred choice for food on campus. I love going to get in line, chatting with friends, and finding the meals that were made with local food because I know the food is fresh. One of my favorite meals I’ve had at the dining hall was our Eat Local Challenge day where all of the food was sourced within 150 miles. This even included tea from North Carolina! Who knew – right? Ever since I started working at the Furman Farm, I have enjoyed the dining hall that much more. I love harvesting the various crops we have growing at the farm and cleaning them, with the knowledge that I could see them served on a plate within 24 hours. It reminds me that “Farm to Fork” is real, and I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to participate in the process.
Anna Scott Myers