Eating the Talk: Office of Sustainability Goes Local
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
September 2, 2009
The folks at the Office of Sustainability decided to walk the talk on eating
locally recently in celebration of Eat Local Month and spent a week dining
on grilled panini sandwiches, frittatas and quiches, and salads bursting with
fresh vegetables. Oh, there was even a blueberry cobbler. And all of the ingredients
were from New England.
“It was a delicious week,” says Sara Cleaves, associate director
of the Office of Sustainability. “We’ve shopped at local farmers
markets, local grocery stores, and even used items from our own gardens.”
New Hampshire’s Eat Local Week in 2008 was so popular, Gov. John Lynch
declared August 2009 Eat Local Month. This was the second year the Office of
Sustainability celebrated the event by taking turns making lunch for the office
using ingredients grown or produced in the region.
“We decided we would ‘walk the talk’ and help get the word
out about eating locally,” Cleaves says. “Not only did we get to
eat really great food but it got us eating lunch together and talking about food—‘where
did you get this; how did you make that.’ We talked about farms we like;
all the farmers’ markets; stores that support local agriculture. It was
very much about slow food and coming together.”
So why the geographical interest in food? Well, research shows it now takes almost
as much energy to get food from the farm to the table as it does to grow it.
This means eating food from your region is better for the environment and costs
less. Not to mention, says Cleaves, that fresh tastes better.
“There is so much stuff still in season so it’s not too late to try
eating locally,” she says. “And it forces you to try new things;
new recipes. The more you talk to people, the more you find out what’s
Here’s a slideshow of the various food they made: http://picasaweb.google.com/UNHSustainability/EatLocal2009# <http://picasaweb.google.com/UNHSustainability/EatLocal2009>
To keep up with the other happenings at the Office of Sustainability, read their
blog at http://discoversustainability.org/.
For information on the local harvest initiative at UNH visit http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/fas/unhlocalharvest.html