EAT: Engage, Analyze, Transform

Lebanon Valley College

FYS: Food and Philosophy Students visit Metz, Put Theory into Practice

On October 9, 2014, the 15 students enrolled in the First Year Seminar: Food and Philosophy took a short trip over to the dining hall to learn about Metz’s dedication to fresh food prepared daily on-site.  About 90% of Metz’s food is made from scratch in the kitchen by its dedicated staff.  Pizza is a great example of this commitment to fresh food.  Metz staff members make pizza dough from scratch twice daily to meet the high demand for pizza pies and other specialties that students crave.  The pizzas are baked fresh in the pizza oven located in the food presentation area, staffed by one of the several hard-working pizzaioli/e.

Students were taught the process, fashioned dough balls from out of the nearly 70lb ball of dough mixed in the industrial mixer, and even learned how to form and toss the dough.  Of course, they also baked and enjoyed the fruits of the study!

This visit to the dining hall is just of of several visits the students make during the semester to learn about food preparation, food sourcing, and the aesthetic enjoyment of a variety of tastes and textures that Metz makes available to its clientsIMG_0623IMG_0617IMG_0620.

EAT Students Present at Annual Food Studies Conference

The EAT Research Group traveled to Burlington, Vermont on June 20 to present at the conference “Collaboration and Innovation Across the Food System” – the joint annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society (AFHVS). Ashley Smith ’15 and Anthony Feudale ’14 had poster presentations accepted to the conference.  Ashley’s project “Experience More, Waste Less” tracked food waste in the LVC dining hall, while Tony’s project “Food Attitudes” tracked student attitudes toward the initiatives put in place by Metz to aid in the reduction of food waste.

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The EAT group also conducted a roundtable discussion about the year’s initiatives.  This panel included Ashley Ferrari ’14 and Ashley Smith ’14, along with Robert Valgenti (EAT faculty director) and Bill Allman (General Manager for Metz Culianary Management).

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E.A.T. visits NYU

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On Friday, November 15th members of the E.A.T. team took a day visit to New York University and it was a full day:

We departed from LVC around 8 am and arrived in New York around 11 am. After a quick coffee pick-me-up, we attended a session of NYU’s “Feast/Famine Colloquium” in which culinary students provided lunch while Dr. Simone Cinotto, visiting scholar in food studies – http://www.unisg.it/en/docenti/ricercatore-storia-contemporanea/ - presented work from his book The Italian American Table. The lecture concluded with a participatory discussion by those in attendance and we were then given a mini-tour of the learning kitchen.

Next, Dr. Jenny Berg -http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/nutrition/faculty_bios/view/Jennifer_Berg gave us a tour of NYU’s Urban Farm. Recently created in June of this year, Jenny gave us the lowdown on how the urban farm came to be, obstacles to its establishment, and plans for its future.

We then had the privilege to sit in on a graduate-level class taught by Dr. Krishnendu Ray – http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/faculty_bios/view/Krishnendu_Ray entitled Contemporary Issues in Food Studies. The lecture and ensuing discussion centered around global malnutrition and its implications.

Our day ended with dinner at Numero 28 Pizzeria and gelato from A.B. Biagi.

Many thanks to the NYU Food Studies faculty and graduate students for their hospitality and continued support of our project!

“Voices of Israel and Palestine” and Gastrodiplomacy

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Metz Culinary and the E.A.T. members teamed up with LVC’s Office of Spiritual Life today for the Voices of Israel/Palestine event featuring our visiting Woodrow Wilson fellow Bobbie Gottschalk. The Voices event featured students who presented narratives of Israelis and Palestinians who work to cross seemingly insurmountable ideological and political boundaries. This theme of diplomacy transitions quite well into the E.A.T. objective (and part of the mission of LVC) of fostering an understanding of diversity. “Gastrodiplomacy” as coined by Paul Rockower is a diplomatic tool that works to reach the hearts and minds of others by way of their stomachs. Like music as a form of cultural diplomacy, gastrodiplomacy reaches audiences on a more visceral and emotional level while articulating a feel for a country’s culture through its cuisine. This increased likelihood of relating to others may lead to economic and/or political gains.

In keeping with the cultural theme and in an effort to further expose the LVC community to new culinary delights, typical Middle Eastern menu items were offered to all those in attendance. (see photos) These items included:

Stuffed Grape Leaves, Falafel with Cucumber Sauce, Tabbouleh, Hummus, Chicken Kebabs, Pita Bread, Spinach Pastry, Baklava, Mint Tea, and Iced Tea

Interested in learning more about culinary and gastrodiplomacy?  Check out the U.S. culinary diplomacy initiative: http://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/index.php/newswire/cpdblog_detail/setting_the_table_for_diplomacy/

LVC’s “Tastes from Home” Recipe Contest!

Do you wish dining hall food tasted more like meals from home? Well now is the chance for students to submit their favorite recipes from home to:

LVC’s “Tastes from Home” Recipe Contest!

Bring a taste of your home/heritage/study abroad experience to the dining hall. The contest is open to all LVC students and the finalists (chosen by a vote of students who sample the recipes) will have their meal offered as a menu item during the spring 2014 semester.

The goal of the contest is threefold: to empower students by giving them a direct say of what is served in the dining hall; to introduce “tastes from home” that students miss while at school; and to expose students to the comfort foods of other cultures.

Click the following link to participate: LVC’s “Tastes from Home” Recipe Contest

Submissions will be accepted until Friday, November 8th!

PHL 311: Environmental Ethics

Registration is now open for PHL 311-Environmental Ethics.  If you are interested in taking the course, or just want to know what the course will cover and how it will be related to the E.A.T. initiative, go to the course page for more information.  Enrollment is by instructor permission only, so go there to find the two brief questions you will need to answer, or email Dr. Valgenti (valgenti@lvc.edu) to set up a time to meet and discuss the class.

Food of the Week—Eggplant!

Eggplant
While not always the most common vegetable included in one’s diet, eggplant holds bountiful nutritional benefits. Like the three preceding featured foods, eggplant contains vitamin A, fiber, vitamin C, and also phosphorous (for a more detailed explanation see previous posts). Eggplant also contains Magnesium, Potassium, and surprisingly calcium. Calcium isn’t found only in dairy products, leafy greens and other vegetables like eggplant and strong sources of this vital nutrient which is essential to strong bones. Magnesium promotes healthy blood pressure and a strong nervous system, while Potassium is good for the heart and kidneys, muscle health, and energy levels.

What is the Featured Food of the Week?

Focus of Featured Food
My concerns while working with the E.A.T. research group manifested themselves with a focus on nutrition and how eating in a more health-conscious manner can benefit your body and the way one feels overall. With feature food of the week, a locally sourced fruit or vegetable will be chosen and each day that week (Monday-Friday) there will be a dish at dinner with the featured food as the main ingredient. Along with that, a slide will be in rotation on the new television screens in Mund Dining Hall that lists some general facts about the nutritional benefits of the featured fruit or vegetable. As busy college students we need to function at our best at all times and to have as much energy as possible. I hope that by having this information available and giving students healthier options they make more thoughtful decisions about how nutritious their diets are and how they can benefit their bodies through their food choices.