Here at Sterling College, food is important. Not only do our students help operate the kitchen, but they also help grow much of our own produce and raise some of our meat. Food is a source of hard work, learning, and enjoyment. Because of these close connections with food, Sterling students have an active role in carrying out our kitchen’s mission: “to manage the Sterling food system as an integral part of our educational programs by demonstrating a ‘living what we teach’ philosophy.” That encompasses planning a seasonal menu, striving for environmental responsibility, educating ourselves and others about food choices, serving healthy, tasteful foods, and like many college dining operations, remaining cost-efficient. We work hard to source food as seasonally and locally as possible–this past fall, we sourced around 50% of our food from Vermont–and serve it in tasty and creative ways. In addition to that, we are conscious of our energy use and material waste, composting everything that we possibly can. The fall of 2009 saw the formation of “A Sense of Plate,” a group of students, faculty and staff who are dedicated to continually improving food sustainability at Sterling College. This blog was created to keep the outside world updated on what’s happening with food here at Sterling and, in doing so, provide a forum for discussion and ideas. Feel free to send suggestions our way!