Starting this semester, the dining services at Wyman’s Commons can add a new claim on sustainability to their list. Locally raised and processed beef is now being served in the cafeteria. The beef is coming from the Herring Brothers Meats of Guildford, Maine, a local meat processor and distributor.
The new addition brings the local food count up to thirty-three percent in our campus’ cafeteria. That means one third of all the food served to students was produced within the state. Having food that is produced locally is essential to the sustainability mission of the campus, as it cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions that come from transporting the food. Buying local is a great way to support our local economy as well.
Most other schools interested in serving local foods don’t do as well as Unity, according to Sandy Donahue, Director of Dining Services at Wyman’s Commons. Schools as large as Harvard and Yale are beginning to get on board with local foods, but barely offers half the amount which Unity provides. Donahue also mentioned that serving local foods at colleges is a new trend since she began working in the industry: “Fourteen years ago…nobody would’ve thought about this.”
The good news doesn’t end there. On top of being local, the Herring Brothers’ meat also adds a level of ease for the cafeteria workers. The pre-formed beef patties offered by Herring Brothers save time and energy in making hamburgers in the kitchen. Each week, they go through five or six cases of these patties alone -more than two hundred patties per week.
In all, it’s a win-win situation.