“Auburn Foods products are locally-grown and sustainably produced – many of these items are grown right on our campus.”
~ Gwen Ward, Auburn University Tiger Dining
Food is one of the most important sustainability issues. What, where, and how food is grown, processed, transported, delivered, consumed, and disposed of, as well as how growers are compensated, have enormous consequences environmentally, economically, socially, and for our individual wellbeing.
To a large extent, we are what we eat. Our physical, mental, and emotional states are nourished, or not, depending on what we put into our bodies. When it comes to campus life, food is right up there in importance with – and usually accompanies – learning, socializing, and rooting the Tigers on to victory.
As you would expect, the folks at Tiger Dining care a lot about this. They go to great lengths to ensure everyone’s food needs are met with a variety of nutritious, tasty, and diet-sensitive options. Tiger Dining constantly looks for new ways to achieve these goals.
For anyone interested in eating more sustainably, Auburn Foods is one of the coolest ideas to come out of Tiger Dining, yet. Wherever diners see the Auburn Foods logo they will find options for eating locally-grown, fresh foods that are more sustainably produced.
Locally-grown food is fresher, getting to our plates much sooner than food grown 1500 miles away, which is the average distance food travels from producer to plate in the United States. And as we all know, fresh food is tastier. By eating locally-produced foods, we help our farmers and the community’s economy. Foods produced close to home have a much lower carbon footprint too, producing significantly less global warming pollution than the same foods grown at a distance.
A lot of sustainability challenges require policy-driven, collaborative actions at a national or international scale. Some aspects of food sustainability require that as well. Yet there is so much related to sustainability in food that is in our personal control. We can follow Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” We can avoid wasting food and compost what is leftover. We can grow our own vegetables. We can shop at farmers markets and other places that offer locally-produced fresh food. On campus, we can look for the Auburn Foods logo for local, fresh, sustainably produced foods.
These small steps benefit us personally, and they contribute to improving our community and the planet.