Aaron Schaffer / Staff Photographer

From Monday to Friday this week Dining Services has planned a host of events to sample local cuisine as well as to display the University’s support for local farmers and sustainable food.
The week will feature foods from local farmers as well as speakers who will discuss sustainable dining.
“Local week is a chance for us to highlight all the local ingredients and vendors we use throughout the year with specialty meals and events,” Resident District Chef Antonio Pignagrande said. “We look to partner with student groups and staff to get their involvement in the events. The end result for us is to be more sustainable and contribute to the University’s sustainable initiatives.”
Aramark, the food service supply company that supplies UR, has been working hard to promote a sustainable image. At Rochester, specifically, there have been a number of developments in recent years working toward this goal. The Eco Clamshell program as well as the Reusable Mug program are both results of this drive.
The Clamshell has seen a slow adoption rate but has steadily become a familiar sight as students without time to sit down for a full meal in the dining halls take their meal to go.
The program has been designed to reduce the number of plates dirtied, saving water as well as extraneous costs.
Since its inception six years ago, Local Foods Week has changed significantly. In previous years, vendors would be invited to campus to provide their goods to students directly with the assistance of Dining Services. Cancellation and scheduling issues have led to a shift in policy. Vendors are still invited to campus to feature their products, however their involvement must first be vetted before the vendors are approved.
New events are constantly being added to the week’s lineup every semester. Pignagrande extolls the inclusion of the Zero Waste dinner at Douglass Dining Hall.
“The event focuses on recycling and composting and utilizing everything we use,” he said. “Waste Management partners with us to educate the students and the staff.”
Most UR patrons welcome events such as Local Foods Week. The variety introduced during Local Foods week is a welcome break from the usual fare.
“It was great to see Dining Services supporting the local community,” junior John Martin said. “I wish they had food like this all the time.”
In addition to the local food, a talk will be held discussing the merits of sustainable dining. Rita Alison, the Aramark national senior manager for sustainability and environmental stewardship, will be featured in the discussion.
The talk will be followed by a four course dinner and a wine pairing in the Meliora Ballroom, although reservations must be made prior to the event.
The week will conclude with a local foods lunch at Danforth Dining Center on Friday.
With the perception of River Campus existing in isolation from the city of Rochester, Local Foods Week aims to enliven student taste and to encourage students to purchase locally, supporting producers based in Rochester.
Smith is a member of the class of 2014.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict reporting disclosures

The Campus Times is a club student newspaper with a small reporting staff at a small, private University. We are…

The NBA’s MVP candidates

Against the Cleveland Cavaliers, center Nikola Jokić posted 26 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists in 35 minutes. That same…

Furries on UR campus?

A few months ago, as I did my daily walk to class through the tunnels to escape the February cold,…