Image via: Haris Abdul Rahman on Flickr.com
Many college campuses today are either A) growing their own food and serving it up in their respective cafeterias or B) purchasing fresh produce from local farmers and serving it in the cafeteria. Gonzaga University is choosing option B, but they've also found a way to save money, reports the Campus Kitchens Project.No one wants to cheat their local farmers in what is already a very tough occupation, but in these tough economic times the Campus Kitchen at Gonzaga may have found a way to find a end use for what would otherwise become waste. They call it "Gleaning," and essentially organizers at the Campus Kitchen are working with local farmers to purchase the produce that they can't sell or eat and that would otherwise just go to waste.
The farmers in turn offer the produce at a reduced price since they are happy to have the food go to someone rather than the compost pile. In fact, when several local farmers heard about the project through a newspaper article, they called up the Campus Kitchen and offered their produce as well. The menu on campus then changes weekly with new additions based on whatever the University is able to glean from local farmers that week.
This idea of "gleaning" is not new as a recent article on farmers markets in Sacramento pointed out the local group, Harvest Sacramento, that goes to area homeowners with fruit trees and offers to pick and or purchase the items that would otherwise rot and fall to the ground. :Campus Kitchens Project
More on Local Food on Campus
UC Berkeley Students Bring Local Food on Campus at Wholesale Prices
100-Mile Diet for College Students
Organic Farms and College Campuses
Corporate and Educational Cafeterias Build Sustainable Food Systems