SBU 100: Where Campus Dining & Locally Grown Food Meet
By Sakib Ahmed
Since the late 2000's, Stony Brook University Campus Dining Services has stocked its shelves with locally grown produce. This important, environmentally sustainable initiative is known as "SBU 100" and involves purchasing produce from local farmers within a 100 mile radius of the University. Through this initiative, as much as 50% of all the produce sold in the dining locations is purchased from local farmers. These items include tomatoes, corn, squash, berries, cabbage, lettuce, pears, apples and micro greens.
Stony Brook University receives its produce from J. Kings distributors who contracts with Long Island farms such as Fox Hollow, Windy Acres in Calverton and Koppert Cress Farms. These farms have shown a strong commitment to good agriculture practices under the standards put forth by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
One environmental benefit to purchasing locally is the reduction of the distance that food has to travel, which leads to significant savings in fuel expenses for transportation and also reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. The program also helps improve the local economy and provides students, faculty, staff and University visitors with fresh, tasty produce to meet their nutritional needs.
Another positive attribute associated with purchasing locally grown food is related to the distance that such produce needs to travel to reach consumers. Produce purchased from other regions of the United Station typically receives preservatives and other chemicals to kill germs, bacteria growth and/or uses wax coatings to artificially enhance the look of the produce. Often times, farmers harvest these long distance crops before they are fully ripe and then refrigerate them to prevent spoiling during transportation.
"Produce loses its flavor and freshness at each step: during refrigeration, during shipping, and while stored in warehouses. The nutritional value of locally grown produce is higher as farmers are able to allow the fruits and vegetables to ripen naturally before shipment" said Angela Agnello Director of Marketing & Communications.
"Purchasing produce from local farms enables you to enjoy a fresher tasting product," said Agnello
For additional information on this initiative, please contact:
Stony Brook University
Office of Sustainability