The Benefits of Buying Locally

All across the nation buying local has become incredibly popular. Restaurants tout their local produce and dairy products as an essential part of the dining experience. Why has this craze become so important today? Well, there happen to be a number of great reasons to buy local:

1)      Local foods often taste better. Since local produce is picked at the peak of ripeness rather than days or weeks early locally grown foods often taste better. Think about why your Washington Apple and local strawberries are so succulent; it’s because they are picked only a short time before you munch them down!

2)      Buying locally reduces your environmental impact. Foods that travel far distances often have a higher environmental impact because of associated travel costs; think about how far that Pineapple you had last week travelled to arrive at your plate.

3)      Local products benefit the local economy. By buying grain, potatoes, apples and milk from local producers we invest in our own community and help promote sustainable, small-scale businesses.

4)      Local foods promote biodiversity. If we all buy locally then we ensure that all regions are producing food for their populations, since we all come from areas with different environments we have to grow different varieties of fruits and vegetables.

It’s for the above reasons that Zag Dining has committed to buying as many local products as we can. Here at Gonzaga we get a large amount of our produce and meat (apples, onions, potatoes, beef, chicken, ext.), all of our dairy and all of our wheat from local farmers. The next time you grab an apple or reach for a a glass of milk look up and see where it’s coming from, we try to make it easy enough to keep track of where your meals comes from.

We are also proud to announce that we now have a specialty baker on our Zag Dining team who is producing the most wonderful breads, cinnamon rolls and assisting in Iggy’s Pizza production. Chef Andy solely uses Spokane’s The Shepherd’s Grain for flour when baking.

On October 17th we will be taking students to The Shepherd’s Grain, our local wheat supplier to learn about their growing and management practices. If you are interested in coming please email Zag Dining’s student manager of sustainability Parker Townley at ptownley@zagmail.gonzaga.edu to RSVP. Reply quickly, we are only bringing a small group out to the farm!

After our field trip to the The Shepherd’s Grain, see the wheat come full circle by joining us for Free Iggy’s Pizza! At 5pm in on the 17th in Cataldo, we will be hosting Build A Better Pizza Taste Off which features student created pizza recipes prepared by our Chef’s using Iggy’s & The Shepherd’s Grain!  Come support your fellow peers by tasting and voting for their pizza!

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