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    Pacific to Offer Locally Grown Food as part of Eat Local Challenge

    Sep 21, 2010

    When people sit down to eat, they rarely think about how far the food in front of them traveled to get there. Studies have shown it can be quite a journey.

    Processed foods in the United States on average travel more than 1,300 miles before being consumed research has shown, while fresh produce travels more than 1,500 miles. The long distance between field and fork is growing and continues to have an adverse effect on the environment largely due to the greenhouse gases being produced by the vehicles that transport the food.   

    To bring attention to the long distance food travels and shine a light on how our food choices impact the environment, University of the Pacific's food service provider Bon Appétit Management Company will revamp its menu on Tuesday, Sept. 28 with locally grown food. The change in menu is part of the company's participation in the nationwide "Eat Local Challenge," which involves serving dishes with local ingredients bought within a 150 mile radius of the Stockton campus.

    Pacific students, professors and staff will eat the locally grown food for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DeRosa University Center's Marketplace, River Room restaurant and Lair. A Farmer's Market will be held nearby during lunch.

    "By revitalizing our menu for the day we hope to encourage members of the University to make choices that are healthy to them and to their community," said Sia Mohsenzadegan, general manager of Pacific's Bon Appétit division. "It is both Bon Appétit's and Pacific's mission to make the world we live in more sustainable."

    This is the sixth year that the Eat Local Challenge will be at Pacific. This year's menu includes pork tenderloin from the Rabbit Ridge farm in Lodi, sage from Chive Farms in Gilroy, and steamed jasmine rice from Lundberg Farm in Richvale.

    Local food is more likely to be fresh when consumed. It also helps encourage sustainable farming practices that nourish and replenish the local land rather than stripping it regionally. In addition, locally purchased food is more likely to be free of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics.