Ah, college dorm food. All the chocolate milk you can drink. Real choices at every meal—the tyranny of mother is overthrown once and for all, until Thanksgiving. You can eat as much as you want, or as little as you want, and with a little discretion you can actually throw the food at your roommates. You can insult the food, and no one at your dinner table is insulted. All in all, a reverie that lasts just into winter quarter.
Anyway, out at UC Davis, it all seems so quaintly Californian: The 13th annual Farm-to-College event, coming up on May 30, celebrates “community, food and farming” as it relates to dorm food. “Several” aspects of the meal will feature sustainably, locally and humanely produced eats, although Auntie Ruth imagines you can still salt and pepper spray the food for yourself. There will be activities, and featured growers—and you know the routine.
This is, after all, California. Of course, our dorm food is local and sustainable. If we didn’t invent the farmers market, we like to think we did. And here in Sacramento, we’ve been locavoring so long that vegetables from Capay look to us like leafy greens from Austin appear to folks in Dallas.
And why that comparison? Alas, the time has come for California to pay heed. We—evidently—rank 41st on a locavore scale.
The gauge is a survey entitled the “Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index.” Emanating from Brattleboro, Vermont, it ranks Vermont as the No. 1 state in per capita locavoring. Strut proud, nepotists. While California ranks tops in both farmers markets (729 total) and CSAs (a cooperative agreement between consumers and farmers in which consumers buy shares in a farm and influence its output somewhat), we have so darn many people in the state that we tumble to 41st place, just barely ahead of New York and Texas.
It’s not that we don’t do the most, it’s just that we don’t do enough—a thought that makes the lifelong Californian in Auntie Ruth a little glum. Can’t catch a break anymore. Maybe what she needs is a full plate of dorm food: The Farm-to-College event will take place near the Segundo dorms from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost to the general public is $14.50. Be sure to get seconds.