Dining news, upcoming special events and responses to your suggestions
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
October 1, 2013
Did you know the tofu served in the Marketplace is local and organic?
This week’s local highlight is certified organic Tofu produced by the House Foods America Corporation. When House Foods Japan partnered with Hinode Tofu brand in 1983, House Foods America was born, and they have been premium tofu purveyors ever since. Made from 100% U.S. grown soybeans, House Foods Organic Tofu is made just 32 miles from Oxy. Dedicated to healthy products and environmental preservation, they have earned a variety of certifications including Non GMO Project Verified, Quality Insurance International Organic, Good Manufacturing Practice, and more. They also installed a rooftop solar system in 2010 to help deal with the carbon footprint of making 70 million blocks of tofu per year.
Accepted theory holds that tofu was invented in 179 BC by a prince in the Han Dynasty of China – yours won...Read More
September 26, 2013
Occidental ranks #14 in The Daily Meal's annual study of almost 2,000 campus dining facilities in colleges around the nation.
On September 19th The Daily Meal released their annual top 60 rankings of four year college food services. Some of the schools, the study notes, failed to pass even the most basic health inspection, while others excelled, with fresh, healthy food prepared with creativity. Occidental, a newcomer to the list, jumped right to the top, outranking such schools as Harvard, Stanford, the Claremont Colleges, and almost 2,000 others. The Daily Meal called Oxy's food service impressive "on all fronts."
A few of the categories the study examined included:
Health Food/Local and Sustainable: This category...Read More
September 16, 2013
DID YOU KNOW? Nearly every single carrot served at Oxy is from a local farm!
This week’s local highlight is Carrots from Grimmway Farms. Grimmway Farms is located just 110 miles from Oxy in the San Joaquin Valley in central California. The farm was established in 1968 when the Grimm brothers Rod and Bob decided to set up a roadside produce stand in Anaheim. Three years later the Grimm brothers realized that carrots were a perfect crop to rotate with their corn, and soon they moved to Bakersfield where the climate allows for two carrot crops per year. After more than 4 decades, Grimmway Farms (AKA Cal-Organic) has grown to be the largest grower, producer, and distributor of carrots in the world, and supplies nearly all the carrots that Campus Dining uses at...Read More