Words and Photograph by Jasmine Roberts
Through October 21st-24th, VCU celebrated its third annual Food Day. Between Monroe Park and MCV Campus, VCU had events occurring all week long.
On Tuesday, October 21st, there was a food market in Monroe Park, where students and faculty could enjoy food from local vendors.
The next day, Wednesday, October 22nd, Shafer Court Dinning Center held a herb planting party and Local Food day, where the dining center integrated locally grown food in their lunch and dinner menus.
VCU Dining Services hosted a food demonstration called “Healthy Eating on $5.00 a Day” in the Commons Theater on Thursday, October 24th. On the official National Food Day, a second herb planting party was held on MCV’s Jonah L. Larrick Student Center on Friday.
I was able to try out some of the local produce on Wednesday’s Local Food Day, as Shafer Court Dining Center had been incorporating locally grown fruits and vegetables in their menu on that day.
Upon arriving at Shafer Court Dining Center, I did notice that the choices around Shafer were a lot more colorful than I was typically used to.
After much deliberation, I opted to try the Waldorf Salad from the salad bar and the Turkey and Apple Sandwich from the deli section.
I did not know what to expect from the sandwich, since to me, apples and turkey is a strange combination. The first bite went down easily enough, and I was amazed at how well the flavors of the sandwich went together. I could definitely taste the cold cut folded in between the bread, but never would I imagine that the slices of apple would actually make a difference. Ultimately, the flavor was light and refreshing, though I did not really notice a difference between locally grown apples and those mass produced.
The Waldorf Salad looked like a bowl of oatmeal. I was so unsure of eating it that I had to mentally prepare myself for a few moments. The first bite: full of cinnamon, which isn’t bad, but I expected to taste more apple in it. Nonetheless, I ate the entire thing. Similar to the Turkey and Apple Sandwich, it had a light flavor.
Nothing was particularly memorable about the Local Food Day Event, other than the plethora of apples that rested in baskets all throughout Shafer. The foods sampled at Shafer, while foreign to my personal palate, were still delicious.
While nothing really impressed me enough to Tweet or Instagram about, I still appreciated VCU’s attempt at promoting healthy dining. Perhaps organically weaving these changes into the regular menu over time will condition diners to opt for local choices in the future.