In Response to “Dining Services Moves Towards Concrete Food Sustainability Change”

By Molly Conlin

In the November 12 article, Dining Services Moves Towards Concrete Food Sustainability Change, Rolfe initiated an important conversation about sustainability.  What is never stressed enough is that sustainability is a spectrum of options You don’t need to do everything, but you must do something. One exercise that can help is to reflect on your personal food ideology, or foodology. Do you eat meat? What kinds and how often? How much does your distance from production matter to you? Do you have any other dietary restrictions? Consider the following foodologies as starting points:

Does supporting your local economy make your mouth water? Then you’re probably a Localvore! A great deal of the chicken in dining halls is sourced regionally as are fruit and vegetables from regional, small-scale producers. You can also find fresh produce right from the Sprout! Garden. Similarly, much of the seafood served comes right from Stonington Fisheries. Coffee Grounds and Blue Camel Café purchase many of their ingredients and goods from only local, independent businesses.

Is meat not your thing? Then a plant-based diet is probably for you! Freeman Dining Hall is 100% vegetarian with vegan options and similar choices can be found regularly in the other dining halls. Looking for a snack? While all cafés typically have vegetarian options available, Coffee Grounds serves only vegetarian and vegan baked goods!

Even the Carnivores group can still be sustainable! The red meats and most poultry in the dining halls unfortunately cannot be considered sustainable, and therefore I urge you to avoid these choices and get vocal about what food options are important to you. Still craving beef? Have a group of friends pitch in for some local or organic burgers and hot dogs and fire up the grill! There are several around campus that can be reserved through ConnQuest. Also, Jazzman’s Café at Ruane’s Den serves 100% certified organic meats!

Once your meal is over, then what? Conn students proudly run an on-campus composting program that creates soil for the Sprout! Garden. Food waste from Harris is donated to the piggery at Secchiaroli Farm in Waterford. If we all make the effort when we can, our society as a whole will move closer towards a sustainable design.