As you’re shoveling those mashed potatoes in your mouth, probably worrying about a test you have next week, or the big game on Friday, do you ever wonder where exactly those potatoes come from?
It’s a curious thought. Some suppress the idea, to avoid confronting reality: that the food they’re eating is actually coming from a factory a thousand miles away.
According to cafeteria worker Joanne Cacchione the meat and other core products that make up our school meals are provided mostly by Sysco. Some items are also purchased from Deliboy. The snacks are provided by Renzi Food Products. All companies are located within an hour of Syracuse. Sysco is located in Warners, Deliboy is located in Baldwinsville, and Renzi is located in Watertown. Even though they’re all local distributors our food is still being shipped from all over the country.
Seventeen percent of all carbon emissions are caused by transporting food across the world, according to GreenHitz.com. Our carbon footprint has grown immensely in the last 20 years, making it more important than ever to start buying meats and other food from local farms. This will help your local economy as well as reduce the amount of pollution that is continuously being added to global warming.
Each company that provides the food to Jamesville-DeWitt High School, most specifically Sysco, follows governmental nutritional guidelines, and has approval from the USDA. But that doesn’t mean the food doesn’t contain a lot preservatives, which is then keeping them “fresh” while traveling halfway across the country to your plate.
“I care where my food comes from,” said junior Cameron Daley, “because I want to know what I’m putting in my body.”
According to Sysco’s website, they have over 100 professionals maintaining the standard of the food, while also monitoring the product quality. White Marble Farms, located in the Midwest is one of the many farms that supply their meat to Sysco. They participate in the “We Care” initiative, which is a public promise to stay true to engaging in and promoting ethical practices.
District cook manager Rita Vedsted has our best interest in mind. If Ms. Vedsted and the other cafeteria workers are not pleased with the quality or the look of the food, they won’t serve it to the students. “You guys are customers, if you don’t like the food, and you’re not happy with it, you’re not going to come back,” said Ms. Vedsted.
Many students have been skeptical of the cafeteria food, “I care about my food, which is why I go through the salad line,” said senior Kate Salvo. It’s nice to know that people do care about their health and where there food comes from. It isn’t as nice knowing the hamburgers eaten today were shipped from Colorado, two weeks ago.