by Julia Motis, Communications Intern
Many wouldn’t expect a school cafeteria to serve local food, but Montgomery County Community College and CulinArt are working to break that expectation. Dave Green, Chef and Food Service Manager with CulinArt at the College’s Central Campus, has been using local food in his dishes for quite some time.
Much of the fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses sold every day at breakfast and lunch are from small, family-owned farms within 100 miles of the campus. Many of the farms are part of larger organizations that promote organic and green practices in their farming, including the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative and Common Market Philadelphia. Green says he has a close relationship with these farms, which has enabled him to bring speakers from these organizations to campus in order to help students understand the importance of eating healthy.
“I’ve always loved local food,” Green said. “I used to go to local farms and pick some produce myself. I even learned to butcher at one of them.”
Green shares his enthusiasm for local food with the College community by providing a weekly farmers market every Thursday during the summer in the Central Campus Cafeteria. Although fresh local produce can be a little pricey, Green says that it is part of a “fair food” arrangement that enables small farms to make a profit and be sustainable. And, he says the price is worth it for a high quality product.
“The foods that are delivered are all picked the day before. They are super fresh, “he emphasizes.
Fresh selections are limited by season, which means Green does buy some non-local foods to fill the need in the cafeteria. However, the cafeteria’s farmers markets only sell the best — and that means quality local and organic products.