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Department - Dining Services

Green Dining Awards

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No More Utensils for Duke Dining!

A new study has recently been published by the American Academy of Food Science that eating with your hands, instead of utensils, is better for your body. According to a study published by AAFS, where 100 men and women were tested over a four-year period, eating with your hands enables your body to absorb more nutrients because the food is easily absorbed through your hands as opposed to eating with forks and spoons. By eating with your hands you are getting twice as many nutrients because you are not only taking the food orally, it is also absorbed into your bloodstream through your hands. In addition eating with your hands curbs the appetite and makes you feel full, sooner, than if utensils were used. The groups were split into two with one group using utensils for 5 meals a week and the other group using their hands. It was noted at the end of the four-year period that the group that used only their hands for eating had a significantly higher amount of vitamins B, D & A in their system, which correlates directly to the foods they were given in the mentioned time period. Western cultures have been using this model for years and the AAFS is encouraging our generation to forgo Emily Post’s Table Manners Etiquette and get down and dirty while reaping the benefits of eating with our hands. Duke Dining is climbing aboard and embracing this new table model and will be withholding all utensils until further notice! April Fools!

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Duke Dining Bans Styrofoam

Read about it here on Duke Today!

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Collaborative Efforts Help to Feed Those in Need

On any given day, Urban Ministries of Durham may provide about 600 meals between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thanks to a partnership between Duke Dining and Urban Ministries of Durham, some of those meals are easier to plan, prepare and provide to people in need. Last week, Duke handed over between 50 to 75 pounds of food to the local shelter that will use it to feed local residents. Read full article here.

 

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Penn Pavilion Candy Corn Winners

In a glass jar of unspecified height and width, lay an indeterminate number of candy corn treats.  Indeterminate? No! The officials of the Candy Corn Contest knew that there were precisely 2676 candy corn treats in the jar.  It remained to be seen who could come closest to guessing that number.

However, as the final hours of the contest drew to a close, the winners were determined.  Sophomores Rowland Pettit and Hannah Barreca guessed 2700 candy corn treats, thus placing them closest to the actual number with a difference of merely 24 treats!  Their prize – a chef’s table for up to 6 people – with a local menu served by Executive Chef Joseph Dowe and the Penn Pavilion team in the Pavilion kitchen. 

What did Chef Dowe and team cook up for the contest winners?  We’re glad you asked!  The menu consisted of tender spicy Asian mustard greens freshly picked from the Duke Campus Farm, tossed local Asian pears in a honey lime dressing, local Mapleview dairy brown butter sautéed Alaskan Turbo with roasted pistachios set on a bed of creamy risotto with fresh herbs and romano cheese, and roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts with applewood smoked bacon, roasted beets and Jerusalem artichokes from Lyons Farms. Finally, to cap off the savory experience, the Chef created a dessert trio of chocolate mousse, Lemon curd, and crème brulee!

More Chef’s Table opportunities to come! Congratulations to Rowland and Hannah on a fabulous win!

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The Great Calzone Cookoff

Congratulations to the Queen and Princess of Calzones-Connie & Jean! In the great Calzone Cookoff @ Penn Pavilion Connie was voted by YOU as your Queen w/ Jean coming in a close second as Princess! As Connie was crowned with her tiara, held her bouquet of roses and wore her bejeweled sash she thanked Duke Dining and all of the students for "making this moment possible!" THANKS FOR VOTING!

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“Is this Still Good?”- Fridge Food Safety Part One

We have all stood there looking in the depths of our refrigerators, pulling out little white boxes or plastic containers; we cautiously open them, sniff, and think to ourselves “Hmmmm I wonder??????”  Leftovers can be harboring millions of unsafe bacteria and still look and smell perfectly fine.
Well wonder no more; we are here to tell you. If you can’t remember when you bought or cooked it, toss it. Nope-we aren’t about increasing food waste but a bout of food poisoning is no joking matter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are an estimated 76 million cases of foodborne illness reported in the US each year, resulting in 350,000 hospitalizations, 5,000 deaths, and who knows how many unexplained “stomach bugs”.  So folks, when in doubt, throw it out.
Here are a few guidelines to help you out:


• Label the contents in leftover containers with what is inside and the date it was prepared or purchased (you can do this with some tape and a pen).
• Wash your hands (for 20 seconds with warm water and soap) frequently.
• Wash utensils and plates after each use.
• Wash fruits and veggies even if you will be peeling them.
Don’t wash meats, poultry and fish prior to cooking.
• Don’t “cross contaminate"! Keep cooked and raw foods separated.
• Refrigerate promptly- within two hours (one hour during the heat of summer).
• Store hot foods in smaller containers so they will cool faster.
• Use this handy guide from the CDC to determine how long you can store food.

Be safe in there (the refrigerator)!
 

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My perspective on Dining at Duke

According to The Daily Meal, Duke is one of the best universities in the nation when it comes to food.  It’s in the top 1% to be exact.  When I first heard this, I was shocked.  Duke?  The best food?  Although Duke food isn’t horrible, it doesn’t seem extraordinary either, especially with all the changes that happened over the summer. Duke removed several popular dining options including Chick-Fil-A, Armadillo Grill, and Subway, and added the Penn Pavilion and Red Mango. Students complain all the time about the changes that were made, but there is a lot to be thankful for here at Duke in terms of dining.

From Marketplace to Red Mango to McDonald’s, the servers are all welcoming and friendly.  Duke has done an excellent job of finding employees who really know how to serve a college campus.  Every Friday morning of my freshman year, I was greeted with “Happy Friday!” as I went to breakfast, and as a sophomore I continue to have positive interactions with the servers on West.  As a gluten-free eater, I like to ask about other options, and the staff members are always willing to go ask a manager about my concerns.  I’ve eaten on several other college campuses, and haven’t been anywhere yet where the servers are as friendly as they are at Duke.  Here, I am always greeted with a smile, treated with respect, and served quickly and efficiently.  So, for those Duke students who may not always enjoy the food they are served, at least the actual service is good.

Another aspect that puts Duke above other universities is its wide range of healthy options.  Salads are always available, including pre-made salads for a quick grab-and-go, make-your-own stations at Au Bon Pain, the Penn Pavilion, and Marketplace, and freshly made-to-order salads at the Loop.  Even the other options like sandwiches, soups, fruits, and yogurts are nutritious.  Duke also includes caloric information on many of their menus, and it helps students to make better choices.  If I can’t resist that chocolate cookie from ABP, at least I know what I’m putting in my body.
My absolute favorite thing about Duke food is the variety in gluten-free and vegan options.  Gluten-free basically means no bread, no cakes, no bagels, no muffins, no pasta, no pizza, and many other “no’s.”  I was a little worried when I came here if there would be enough for me to eat, but

Duke does a wonderful job of providing alternative choices.  From time to time I get frustrated, mostly because I eat the same foods over and over again.  But, in the grand scheme of dining at Duke, I can eat fairly “normal” food.  They have gluten-free bread to use on sandwiches and hamburgers, gluten-free cookies at ABP, gluten-free spaghetti at Pitchforks, and at Marketplace they have an entire fridge filled with gluten free-bagels and desserts.  Although I’m not vegan, being gluten-free has made me more aware of how hard it is to stick to a limited diet.  Duke labels their gluten-free and vegan food as such, making them easy to identify.  I know exactly what foods are safe for me to eat without having to make a huge announcement to everyone that I need “special” food.

Speaking of gluten-free, I had never eaten at a food truck until last week because I assumed I couldn’t eat very much from them anyway.  They were mostly all bread-type foods, right?  Well, the moral of this story is that we all know what happens when we assume.  I was waiting in line with my friend at the crepe truck, when I decided to actually read the sign.  In big letters at the very top, it said “We have gluten-free batter!” and I knew right then I would pay any price to try one.  It was absolutely delicious, and worth every dollar to me.  Sadly, the Loyo truck is gone this year, and I was never able to test it out.  But, Red Mango is a more than suitable replacement because it’s here every day!  I even eat there for dinner sometimes!  Shhh… Don’t tell my mom!  No desserts before supper.

And to end this delightful rant about Duke food, I’d like to give some shout-outs to my two favorite places: The Loop and Pitchforks.  I’ll definitely miss them when I go home for break.  The Loop reminds me of Red Robin, especially with the burgers and steak fries.  But, they also have some great salads, soups, and milkshakes.  And if the Loop is good, Pitchforks is even better.  Their menu is enormous!  They serve breakfast for most of the day, and they serve other food at all hours.  They have gluten-free options for their sandwiches, and they don’t make me pay extra for it!  From omelets to tacos to spaghetti to pancakes, Pitchfork Provisions has every meal covered, and the quality of food beats any other option on campus.

Although food here can be a tad bit pricey, I think it’s important to appreciate the positive aspects of Duke dining.  The quality of service and the availability of healthy and alternative options should be acknowledged more than they are.  Food has such a big influence on how we live every single day.  Not only do we need food for energy, but it’s also a large part of social life.  Duke really wants its student body to enjoy the experience here, and if it was ranked in the top 1% of universities for food, it must be doing something right.

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Duke Dining selected as a Top National Collegiate Dining Services Location!

National food and drink publication, The Daily Meal, has placed Duke Dining in the top 1% of colleges and universities interviewed for best college food in America. They conducted an eye-opening study that examined the most outstanding campus dining at 2000 four-year colleges across the country. The Daily Meal selected Duke Dining as an extraordinary dining services university and used the following methodology to determine their results: healthy food options, local & sustainable programs, accessibility & service, events/nutritional education, the ‘X’ factor and the overall dining program.

As printed in the Daily Meal:

Duke’s dining program is so incredible that students honestly don’t ever need to leave campus to eat. Campus establishments serve dishes like pan-seared diver scallops with a basil pistou; carved-to-order porchetta topped with salsa verde; and gnocchi and sage au gratin, dishes more likely to be found in a fine dining establishment.

With more than 30 dining options on campus, an additional 17 will deliver food right to your dorm. But seeing as the Blue Devils have a large appetite, the staff has come up with an incredibly unique way to improve the dining experience using two words: Food. Trucks. Seven of them, to be exact. By using a Google calendar to find the times and locations of trucks serving, for example, Greek cuisine, tacos, and crepes, students never will go hungry again.

Additionally, the new Penn Pavilion features seven new Duke Dining venues: Bistro (carved meats and sides), Comforts (comfort food), Stacks (deli-style sandwiches), Cilantro (made-to-order Mexican), Alforno (pizza and pasta), Greens (soup and salad), Dash (grab and go), as well as a local vendor, Sitar, serving Indian cuisine and sushi. The new space, a temporary home until the completion of the West Union Renovation Project, provides a picturesque dining experience with beautiful wooded views through the floor to ceiling windows. 

Congratulate your Duke Dining staff on this wonderful success!

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Finding your way...

My first post goes out to the freshman.  Welcome to Duke!  I hope the start of your Duke experience has been as much of a whirlwind for you as it was for me!  I remember these first couple weeks at Duke being exciting, challenging, ridiculous, silly, daunting, and many times, a bit lonely.  Some people have a seamless transition into Duke, but those people are few, and far between.  I want to encourage those freshman still struggling to find your place here.  It doesn’t happen over night, nor should it!  If you haven’t found your crew, don’t worry, chances are neither have most people.  You are not alone. Trust me, it is so important to seek out people you connect with, which can be very different from those you gravitate toward initially.  Remember, everyone is in the same position that you are, most people didn’t arrive at Duke with an established group of friends, so take time in your first weeks to get to know people who are in your classes, in your hall and even on the bus!  Freshman year is AWKWARD, but it’s awkward for everyone.  It’s all about perspective.

  • “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”:  My favorite advisor in the Career Center, shameless shout-out to Anita Stockmans, ends all of her emails this way.  It’s true!  Stick to who your values, let them guide you most of the time you won’t go wrong.  
  • Challenge your comfort zone, step outside of it: It’s very easy to settle into a routine.  But some of my most important lessons came from going off the beaten path.  Do things that make you uncomfortable.  Try taking classes in subjects where you might not be as strong. Don’t worry Pass/Fail is a thing here.  Find a way to connect with people that you wouldn’t normally interact with.
  • Talk to professors:  Take advantage of the amazing professors at Duke.  Go to office hours!  Talk after class! Organize a Flunch! Most professors at Duke are leaders in their field, and they want to talk to you about their work, life, or just about anything!  Networking is a big part of life, and getting to know your professors outside of the classroom will only make you a stronger student.  The relationships you create may even lead to a great job recommendation in the future.  
  • It is always more awkward to ignore someone, than it is to say hello: It is never a good idea to pretend you’ve never met the person in line behind you at the Market Place.  I promise that they remember meeting you, even if it was at Shooters, and I swear it won’t kill you to say “hey, what’s up?” The awkward eye-contact-glance-away is a chronic Duke problem!  It won’t help you make friends, it definitely makes everyone uncomfortable, and only ensures that every time you see that person on the quad for the next 4 years, you will have to pretend that you never took Writing 20 together, lived 3 dorms down from them, or that you didn’t bond over a harrowing rendition of We Can’t Stop while standing on the bar at Shooters…
  • Make time for personal time:  I often describe the Duke experience as analogous to running on a treadmill with no stop/pause button that being said, take time for yourself.  Carve out a bit of space in your day where you do things that center you.  Call your mom, go for a run, take a walk off campus, bake something!  Whatever it is, you can always make time for the things that matter most to you.  I wish I had done this more freshman year.  Stress comes with the territory, it’s manageable. Find a routine that helps you perform to the best of your ability.
  • Ignore FOMO:  I did many things freshman year because I had a chronic case of FOMO (fear of missing out).  Prioritize!  Plan ahead. Whatever you are missing, is not going to make, or break, your Duke social experience.  It is exhausting to consistently calibrate your life experiences to those of your pears.  Actually, it is completely irrational!  Do you! Everyone else is doing them.
  • Small talk MATTERS:  “Hi, I’m Alex.”  Those three simple words changed the dynamic of my freshman experience.  I made some of my best friends at Duke in South Gate, standing in line for ice cream on the first night of school.  “Hi, I’m Alex,” that’s all it took for me to feel more comfortable as I scooped Oreos onto my slightly melted pile of chocolate ice cream.  “Hi, I’m Alex,” prompted me to say “Hi, I’m Dani.”  “Hi, I’m Alex,” led to “Dani this is Ali, she lives in our hall.”  The conversation that laid the foundation for some of my longest lasting friendships at Duke started with an introduction, and a sloppy bowl of ice cream.  I was lucky.  A lot of people don’t have an Alex, but the point is that it doesn’t take much to be one.
  • Don’t get comfortable:  You may think that you have it all figured out, but there is always room for growth!   
  • Find a mentor:  Find someone at Duke who will be your principle stakeholder.  Develop relationships with people you admire, and who can, and will make you a better person.  Seek out faculty, professors, and even students who have skills that you admire.  Find someone who will be invested in your future.
  • Have F-U-N:  Duke is an amazing, crazy, unpredictable, fantastic, and beautiful ride.  Don’t forget to make memories that count.



 

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Friendly Food

“There are three activities that are absolutely vital in the creation of community. The first is eating together. The second is praying together. And the third is celebrating together.”  Duke Professor of Theological Ethics Stanley Hauerwas and Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche, wrote this in their book “Living Gently in a Violent World.  These simple practices are alive in Duke’s Divinity Refectory and its vendor, CORE Catering.

CORE Catering’s owner Pat Eder began what she calls a “ministry of hospitality to people and planet”.  Eder had relationships with Duke Dining Services, local growers and community members dating back to the early 80’s. As an employee of former Divinity school eatery vendor Bon Vivant she supported them with her knowledge and values of sustainable, nutritious meals “that celebrate the restoration of community, earth, and spirit.”  

When Duke Dining Services selected CORE Catering as the new vendor for The Refectory at Duke Divinity School in 2012, Eder was committed to continuing that ministry as she provided a unique dining experience at the popular campus eatery. CORE Catering’s mission is not limited to feeding hungry students, faculty and staff from across campus at the long, narrow “refectory tables” in the Divinity School, but extends throughout the Durham community.   

Every Friday evening, volunteers from the Durham Friends Meeting pick up “Friendly Food” donated by Eder and her staff at the Divinity Refectory and deliver the meals to Durham families who are grieving the violent death of a loved one.  The meals are a vital means of connecting with these families, says Marcia Owen, executive director of the Religious Coalition for a Non-violent Durham (RCND). The meals become an extension of the bonds formed through Coalition-sponsored candlelight vigils as a community response to violence.

Glenda Fowler whose son Kareem was fatally shot in 2010 describes her experience of “Friendly Food” visits as “overwhelming compassion.“I am indescribably appreciative of Friendly Food folks taking the time to remember my family as we continue to cope with the grief and loss of Kareem. The food is very, very good!”

Duke History professor Simon Partner has volunteered since “Friendly Food” deliveries began in early 2013. “The deliveries allow me an opportunity to reach out and connect with families who have suffered the worst imaginable loss through the gift of one of the fundamental things that people share: food. Many of these families are in dire economic straits and the recipients are also often lonely and isolated. Delivering the food gives me a chance to talk and to listen, and I think the conversation and communication are as important as the food itself." Partner says the food is important, but may not be the most important part of Friendly Food. “The recipients always appreciate that this is gourmet food beautifully prepared and packaged. I can't overstate the generosity and caring of Pat and Blake Eder.   One of the nicest things about Friendly Food is meeting Pat and Blake on Friday afternoon and seeing their warm smiles as they donate meals lovingly prepared in their kitchen.”

Harold Wright, whose wife was fatally shot in 2012, says he values the visits as much as the meals. “Everyone is so caring and nice. They radiate with love.”

Volunteer David Bridge of Durham Friends Meeting believes that violence harms many more than the actual victim. “Healing becomes an eternal journey.  I deliver meals to the families of victims because it is a simple act of providing nourishment to folks who are on that journey and to let them know that the community cares.”

CORE Catering also prepares the communal meals for the Coalition’s “Circles of Hope and Healing.” These bi-weekly gatherings for individuals and families suffering the isolation of traumatic grief are supported by Duke University’s “Doing Good in the Neighborhood” fund.

In partnership with Reality Ministries, CORE Catering has created a "Dine Out" experience at the Divinity Refectory that creates space for friendship and mutual growth-in-Christ between folks with and without disabilities. “Friendships were nurtured and honored because of The Divinity Refectory's contribution to this dinner,” says Greg Little of Reality Ministries. “They hosted the event and provided food and staffing, as well as remained attentive to detailed concerns throughout the preparation and event. It was a gift to share food together and celebrate one another in this way, and we look forward to further fostering this partnership through individual relationships and larger gatherings.”

CORE Catering’s support to the Duke and Durham community also extends to Durham Congregations In Action’s “Year of Opportunity for Durham Youth – YO:Durham.” "Every summer the YO:Durham program hosts a mock networking event where our youth can meet with local professionals and volunteer,” says staff member Eric Olson-Getty. “We are grateful to CORE Catering for its partnership with our program and we hope to continue working with them for future events."

The Divinity Refectory recognizes that the creation of community is sustained by the bounty of our earth. Their reliance on local food and support of sustainable food production are central to the goodness of their meals.

In his sermon “Food is Politics”, former Dean of Duke Chapel Sam Wells asked "If worship is food, could it be that food is worship?  Could we imagine how good eating might become a sacrament of reconciliation between human beings and our planet?" CORE Catering’s answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

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The New PENN PAVILION

Duke University trustee Bob Penn and his wife, Katherine, have committed $10 million in support of a new 25,000-square-foot events and dining pavilion for students, President Richard H. Brodhead announced Thursday. Read more.

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FREE iced tea and iced coffee!

TODAY ONLY (August 6th)-enjoy FREE iced tea and iced coffee from 2pm-6pm at Au Bon Pain in the Bryan Center!/sites/default/files/u1379/27917287458_AEk3Hv0PjpvwZwDbgIDwBgaQAAAMAAAAAAAAAICwMRhh0Aj_0.png

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Bracket Battle: Best College Eats Tournament

Duke Dining made it to the Food Network Cooking Channel's "Best College Eats Bracket Battle!" Check out the article, fill out your bracket and vote for Duke Dining's Greek Devil Gyro from the Greek Devil Food Cart! Vote for Greek Devil Food Cart HERE!

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Super Bowl Dinner

Congratulations to freshman Alex Shih for winning the Super Bowl Dinner football grill give-a-way! Guests were invited to select their choice for the winning Super Bowl team for a chance to win the football grill.  The Super Bowl Dinner was held on Thursday, 1/31 at Great Hall and Marketplace and featured “super” fun menu item such as a wing bar and Super Bowl team favorites to include San Francisco’s garlic fries and the Ravens’ pit beef sandwich. Also at the dinner was a Coke bottle toss game donated from the Department of Athletics. Thanks to all for a great event!

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The Healing Powers of Chicken Soup

Here we are in the midst of cold and flu season doing our best to stay healthy and avoid feeling under the weather, but despite doing all the things we have learned to do to stay well those pesky bugs sneak their way in anyway. For decades chicken soup has been known to take the edge off when said pesky bugs attack, but what is it about chicken soup that makes us feel better? We know that we feel better after having a bowl of chicken soup, but what exactly gives this type of soup its “special powers?”

There are various recipes for chicken soup, but most contain certain essential ingredients such as onions and carrots that create an impactful combination. Based on research done by Dr. Stephen Rennard, MD, a researcher at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory agent for your nasal cells, giving your nose the relief it needs. Particularly, the onions in the soup contain protein, calcium, and especially sulfur, which decreases swelling and aids in reducing nasal congestion. Another significant ingredient in chicken soup is carrots. Carrots enable our bodies to produce vitamin A, which strengthens our white blood cells and in turn allows us to better fight off infection. Bonus: carrots also assist with retinal function to produce better vision!

Hot soups in general help keep nasal passages moist, thin out mucus, prevent dehydation, and sooth a sore throat, so what is it about the chicken? Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine that is released when the soup is made. This amino acid thins mucus in the lungs, aiding in the healing process. Chicken also plays its role as a great source of protein for your muscles. This is particularly helpful when your body feels weakened and drained during illness. And the more ingredients in your soup, the better, according to Rennard and his research team who have found that chicken soup with a variety of veggies can help ease the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections, including congestion, stuffy nose, cough, and sore throat.

So if you have some time in between classes today consider treating your body to a warm, healthy serving of chicken soup at the Great Hall, The Loop, or Au Bon Pain!

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Bowl Game Trivia Winners

Congratulations to our two Bowl Game Trivia winners who participated in the 12/5 Bowl Game Trivia at the Great Hall and Marketplace. Junior Will Woodhouse and Freshman Monica Choe each received two tickets to the Belk Bowl, airfare and lodging for two and Duke football jerseys and miscellaneous gear provided by Coca-Cola and Duke Athletics. Thanks to all who participated!

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Election Dinner Results

An Election Dinner was held at the Marketplace and Great Hall on Election Day, Tuesday, November 6. A few of President Obama's and Governor Romney's favorites were served with an opportunity for students to vote for the menu items they liked best. Among Obama's favorite foods were chili, arugula salad with mushrooms and goat cheese and pumpkin chess pie with Romney's favorites to include meatloaf, spicy red pepper hummus and peanut butter cups. After the votes were tallied Romney's food favorites prevailed with the favorite menu item being peanut butter cups! Many thanks to all who participated!

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“Locavorism” at Duke

In honor of National Food Day and the beginning of the Green Devil Smackdown Competition, here's a blog written in April 2012 by Julianne Chiraz ('13), who was inspired by her experiences in a Duke Food Studies course in the spring of 2012.


This school year, my perspective of food and eating in general has changed dramatically.  It all started over the summer, when I had the privilege to read the first-year summer reading book, Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer.  At first, I was skeptical of the intentions of this selected summer reading (is Duke trying to convert everyone to veganism to save money and purchase less meat?!).  However, I soon realized that the current food crisis extends far beyond the spectrum of eating meat vs. not eating meat; it’s the harmful food production practices that have a substantial impact on the economy, the environment, and our own health.  It’s not just the problem of vegetarians/vegans/health-nuts/etc.  It’s EVERYONE’S problem because EVERYONE eats.
   
Having read Foer’s work, I was inspired to enroll in Duke’s Inaugural University Course, entitled “Food Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Why, What, and How We Eat.”  The goal of this course was to bring students and faculty together from multiple academic backgrounds to provide a multifaceted approach to food.  The course consisted of a lecture from a new speaker every week, a response providing an alternative view, and a discussion over dinner with a smaller discussion group.  The input of the lecturers as well as my fellow classmates provided me with opportunities and insight into food culture that I would never be able to get from reading a book or watching a documentary.

A recurring theme from Eating Animals, the University Course, and world news in general is the idea of “locavorism”.  Eating “local” is a nutrition trend that’s sweeping the nation, and Duke and Durham are no exceptions.  Local food movements are often categorized by farm-fresh products, and the food’s quality is often measured by the distance the food travels to reach one’s plate.  How fitting then, that Duke has its own 1-acre farm, located approximately 6 miles away from campus! 

The Duke Campus Farm is fairly new, having had its first harvest in April 2011.  However, I find that its visibility is already prevalent on campus, whether it’s through social media, cooking classes, or even just their clearly labeled produce in Duke’s eateries.  While the farm is open to anyone for Community Workdays on Sundays and Thursdays, I managed to find the opportunity to attend a Workday through a group that was organized in my Food Studies discussion group.  When we arrived, we were put straight to work harvesting products we see in the Great Hall and Marketplace everyday – I was put to the task of harvesting spinach, as seen in the pictures here!  It was such an awe-inspiring task, as I’ve never in my entire life felt that connected to the food I eat; I attend the Great Hall 3+ times/week, and usually find myself at the salad bar, so I was so excited to have the chance to eat food that I actually picked out of the ground with my bare hands…you can’t get more local than that!

Yes, my challenge to you is to eventually take action in promoting local eating, but first, simply think about to what you eat and how it may affect your health, your life, and the future of the world we live in.  We are fortunate enough to live in an area that is lush with farm-fresh products, but we can’t forget that North Carolina is also a home to some of the largest hog producing counties in the nation.  Duke is the place to make changes in your own eating practices and influence those of the people around you!
 

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