A Working System

The hustle and bustle amongst students on most college campuses typically isn't conducive to taking time to sit down and enjoy a meal. Couple that with the fact that many colleges and universities heavily support fast food, and it makes getting a nutritious meal seem next to impossible.

That's what is so refreshing to see what Washington University in St. Louis and Bon Apetite Management Company are doing with local farm Rain Crow Ranch. Rain Crow Ranch is currently providing Washington University with 18,000 pounds of beef per year and is the exclusive supplier. Universities feeding students local and sustainable meals... Almost sounds too good to be true.

This goes back to two important issues one of which is touched on by John Griffiths, Executive Chef at Washington University in this video. We are loosing touch with where our food comes from. Sitting down to eat an average hamburger at most of the universities and colleges around the country is likely an impersonal experience. WashU seeks to change that with this current program. Students can take pride in knowing that their burgers come from a farm that watches over and takes meticulous care of its livestock. In reality, students could head down to Rain Crow and get to know the people who provide the food they eat, bringing them closer to their food and heightening their appreciation for it.

This brings up the second important issue which is that we often don't appreciate the food on our plates. We like to stress the importance of thanking farmers because of their hard work and dedication not only to their jobs but to feeding us as a country. Putting a face like Peter Whisnant, President of Rain Crow Ranch, with where our food comes from will reinforce the importance of acknowledging and thanking the farmers that work so hard to bring us food.

This program at WashU could and should be a model for other schools around the country. Feasibility may not always allow that but even if a handful of schools were to implement it, students would benefit, universities would benefit and most importantly farmers would benefit. 

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