The word “cafeteria” does not exactly bring to mind healthful, organic, and delicious dining — but Yale University is setting out to change all that. The ivy league institution has teamed up with Alice Waters (the chef who changed the face of American cuisine through Chez Panisse, her California restaurant) to create the Sustainable Food Project. When students return to Yale this fall, those who eat at Berkeley College, one of the university’s 12 dining halls, will be greeted with locally grown produce carefully crafted into “Real Food” — nutritious, simple, healthful meals. The project is designed not only to feed the students better, but also to educate them about the importance of what they eat and its relationship to economics, agriculture, and the environment. Real Food is a major contrast from the heavily processed foods usually used to meet the large-scale demands of university dining halls, but everyone involved is optimistic about the outcome. Project organizers say that the local farmers are ecstatic, that the students are interested, and that other big-name schools from Harvard to Stanford are eager to hop on board.
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