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The Mount's Bon Appétit Management Company featured locally grown cuisine on Sept. 27 in College dining halls as part of an ongoing effort to support local farmers.

Mount Keeps It Fresh With Local Produce in Dining Halls

October 3, 2011 -- Beets from Oxnard, garlic from Bakersfield and olive oil from Santa Barbara were some of the homegrown edibles served by the Mount's Bon Appétit Management Company on Sept. 27 during its annual Eat Local Challenge.

The challenge aims to serve students primarily food grown within a 150-mile radius reflects an ongoing effort in the College's cafes to support sustainable growing practices that nourish and replenish the land rather than stripping it of precious resources. Using local food sources also gives the Mount control over the amount of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics used.

In this latest challenge, students dined on a salad made from red and gold beets with spinach, cucumbers, cage free hard boiled eggs, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette. One supplier for the day's cuisine, Glaum Egg Ranch in Watsonville, Calif., exceeds the distance for a "local" definition, but meets other criteria because of the ranch's sustainable and humane farming practices.

Bon Appétit believes that locally-grown food is fresher and dramatically more flavorful than food that is harvested early so it can be transported great distances. Locally-produced food is picked at the height of freshness, often making it to market within 24 hours of being picked. Food from non-local sources may have been in transit for more than seven days and been warehoused for many months.

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