Dining news, upcoming special events and responses to your suggestions
December 4, 2013
The annual Occidental College Employee Holiday Party will take place on Friday evening December 13. In order to allow all employees the opportunity to attend, Campus Dining facilities will close at 3pm that day. Box dinners for students are available by pre-order, and must be picked up in person in the Marketplace between 12noon and 3pm. Please place your on-line order no later than Tuesday December 10 at 11:59pm.
The Marketplace will reopen at 7:30am on Saturday December 14 for students remaining on campus. Fall meal plans are valid through 12/14.
December 2, 2013
This week’s local highlight is Broccoli from Adam Brothers Family Farms.
Native to Europe, broccoli evolved from a wild cabbage plant and has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. It was first introduced to the U.S. by Italian immigrants, finally reaching popularity in the 1920’s. Crisp, mild, and crunchy, broccoli has been shown to contain many potent anti-oxidants, most notably high levels of vitamins A, C, K, and dietary fiber. High broccoli consumption has also been linked to the prevention of heart disease and reduced risk of cancer.
The Adam family has been farming in the Santa Maria Valley since 1850, when William Laird Adam first emigrated from Scotland. Today the fifth generation of the Adam family continues to farm on some of the same land in Santa Maria that William first farmed in the 1800s.
November 25, 2013
This week’s local highlight is Galasso’s Bakery.
Galasso’s Bakery is one of Campus Dining’s main providers of freshly baked bread, rolls, and buns. All their products are baked fresh daily just 40 miles from Oxy in Mira Loma, CA. Galasso’s Bakery delivers their fresh bread to Oxy almost daily. “Founded in 1968, Galasso’s Bakery began as a family-run business. Over the years, the company has grown from a single room delicatessen into a full-line bakery, producing hearth baked sourdough, sliced and French breads as well as dinner rolls, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, and specialty breads.”
Galasso’s is famous throughout the area for their traditional-style bread delivery trucks....Read More
November 20, 2013
November 11, 2013
Campus Dining is switching from Canadian farm raised salmon, to serving Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon.
This week’s highlight is Wild Caught Salmon, which we purchase through our distributor – Superior Seafood. Previously, the Marketplace has served salmon that is farmed in Canada. Recently, Chef Meesh worked with Superior Seafood to find a source of Alaskan Wild Caught Salmon, which the Monterey Bay Aquarium identifies as a “Best Choice” for sustainable and healthy seafood.
One of the biggest sustainability problems involved in farming salmon is the large amount of food they require. Wild caught salmon, on the other hand, are part of a natural system where the food they eat is at least partially replenished through the nutrients recycled during the salmon’s life cycle. A lesser known fact is that farmed salmon are also less healthy than wild caught salmon. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pacific salmon in Alaska are among the most...Read More
November 5, 2013
This week’s local highlight is mushrooms from Mountain Meadow Mushrooms.
Mountain Meadow Mushrooms is located in Escondido, CA so they only have to travel 115 miles to get to Oxy. E in 1952, Mountain Meadow Mushrooms (MMM) is currently growing and shipping 100,000 pounds of mushrooms per week.
Growing mushrooms is a complex process that starts with creating the perfect compost mixture. Of the 63-day production cycle, 25 days are devoted to producing the compost soil. This process requires constant attention because the piles must be heated, cooled, watered, and turned on a daily basis. The mushrooms are grown in this nutrient-rich soil in small beds located in dark, temperature-controlled rooms. When they are fully grown, the mushrooms are handpicked and shipped to the local community the very same day. Find these mushrooms throughout the MP!
October 29, 2013
This week’s local highlight is Pomegranates from Wawona Packing Co.
The farm, located about 200 miles from Oxy, grows many varieties of fruit. Wawona has been ramping up its commitment to sustainable production in the past few years. In 2012 it installed a solar array which produces 70% of its power, including for processing and cold storage. For a company that farms more than 6,500 acres and packs 5 million cartons annually, that’s a lot of sustainably produced power.
Pomegranates, which grow on a small deciduous tree, are thought to have originated in Iran, and have been cultivated since ancient times. The fruit has also featured heavily in religious traditions, appearing repeatedly throughout Christian, Jewish, Taoist, Hindu, and Islamic theology, often symbolizing fertility. Pomegranates have also been used medicinally throughout history, featuring heavily in the...Read More
October 21, 2013
Wondering where those fantastic California avocados at the fruit stand are coming from?
This week’s local highlight is Morro Bay Avocados from Shanley Farms, which is located in San Luis Obispo County, about 190 miles from Oxy. Avocados are native to Central Mexico, but were introduced to the United States in the early 19th century and have thrived since. Southern California produces 95% of the nation’s avocados, but Morro Bay Avocados are grown in northernmost avocado growing region – San Luis Obispo. This variety is the last to be harvested in the California avocado season, and Shanley Farms is committed to letting harvesting only once the avocados have achieved peak oil content, making for a flavorful, creamy, rich avocado.
Shanley Farms started as a hobby farm for Jim Shanley in 1998, but he quickly caught the farming bug and by 2010 had hired his family...Read More
October 16, 2013
This week’s local highlight is Red Bell Peppers from Prime Time International Marketing.
Prime Time has several locations which they grow at, but during October their outdoor bell peppers are grown in Oxnard, CA, just 62 miles from Oxy. Originating in Mexico and Central America, the name “pepper,” applied to all the fruit of the Capsicum genus, is actually a misnomer. When Christopher Columbus brought pepper seeds back to Spain the peppercorn was a highly prized spice, and most spices which were similarly spicy were called some variance of pepper. Incidentally, the bell pepper, sometimes called the sweet pepper, is the only member of the Capsicum genus which doesn’t produce capsaicin, the chemical responsible for the burning spicy sensation we associate with other varieties.
Prime Time International has expanded to being the top supplier of peppers today. They have been dedicated...Read More
October 7, 2013
This week’s local highlight is Lacinato Kale from Babé Farms, grown just 160 miles from Oxy.
Lacinato kale is often featured in specialty salads and as a sauteed green. Also known as “Dinosaur Kale,” lacinato kale is extremely hardy and can survive through frosts, and is actually sweeter and more flavorful after being exposed to cold weather. This variety of kale originates from Tuscany, and is cultivated there extensively. It is a dietary staple and key ingredient in dishes such as Minestrone, Ribollita, and pastas. Lacinato Kale, which is more tender than other varieties, is also increasingly popular raw as a superfood’ in salads.
Kale is closely related to cabbage, broccoli, and other leafy green vegetables. Very high in a variety of vitamins, minerals (especially calcium), kale also contains high levels of sulforaphane, which is thought to have potent anti-carcinogenic properties. The...Read More