College cafeteria goes completely local

BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. - One college. One day. All local. That’s the plan tomorrow at Andrews University in Berrien Springs. It's called the 'Eat Local Challenge'.

The dining hall on campus is serving up only food grown within 150 miles of the campus. Bon Appetite, the company that runs the college's cafeteria, challenged the dining hall to serve the local menu for one day.

Mark Daniels, a General Manager with Bon Appetite, points out the abundance of produce and herbs in the cafeteria's cooler Monday. He says the meals served Tuesday will represent several weeks of preparation. “Several hundred pounds of local produce have been ordered, about 250 pounds of local flower have been ordered," he says. "About 150 pounds of local butter was brought in.”

Daniels says it's all from Michiana. “Whether it (is) wheat or honey or fruit or vegetables it has to come from within that distance.”

The students at Andrews University might be able to tell the difference. They're used to eating plenty of produce.

"We're taught that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit in the Bible,” explains junior John Learned. He is a vegetarian, like many of the other Seventh Day Adventists on campus. Learned says he knows fresh produce when he tastes it and thinks the day is good idea. “I think it’s good. It helps the local businesses and it keeps the food here,” he says.

Daniels says the university usually has 20 percent local ingredients. He says when it’s local the food is healthier and tastes better. Tomorrow, Daniels says, will be remarkable. “I mean, think about that," he says. "We can feed people local food from local growers from an entire menu and for an entire meal period. It’s outstanding.”

Bon Appetite is expecting to serve 1000 local meals on Andrews University's campus Tuesday.

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