My Days in Food
I found Monday through Wednesday to be pretty typical days in my eating pattern, and its obvious there are some food items I consume everyday that build upon my diet.
Monday, Jan. 27th
- Protein Shake
- Scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, baked oatmeal, yogurt, blueberries, bananas
- Coffee, orange juice
- Sushi roll (shrimp, avocado, asparagus)
- Chipotle bowl (rice, black beans, chicken, salsas, cheese)
- Pretzels, Haribo gummy bears
Tuesday, Jan, 28th
- Fried eggs, toast, cheese, bananas, clementines
- Cliff Bar
- Post-practice protein shake
- Boneless wing toss, quinoa cauliflower bites
- banana bread w/frosting
Wednesday, Jan. 29th
- egg sandwich, bananas
- Cliff bar
- Post-practice protein shake
- Haribo gummy bears
- Chicken w/parmesan rice, brocolli
The Top 3
I am most definitely a creature of habit. I look forward to my morning coffee everyday, and I always turn to bananas in the morning and mid-day. I also have one or two protein shakes a day to support my exercise for track.
Luckily, Dickinson is very transparent about who and where our food comes from. There is a link on the college website that actually shows the school’s vendors and their websites. Dickinson coffee comes from Sun Coffee Roasters, who boast they, “source coffee beans from certified Rainforest and Fair Trade cooperatives worldwide.” By describing it as sourced ‘worldwide’, it is difficult to pinpoint where each cup comes from. Having said this, most coffee is grown in regions close to the equator, throughout South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. This means that each cup of coffee most likely has grounds in it that traveled thousands of miles to be brewed in the Dickinson Caf. Sun Coffee Roasters does highlight the cooperatives they are a part of which are, “certified Rainforest, Shade Grown, or Bird Friendly plantations.” This shows some of the issues facing general coffee production around the world. Many practices include clear cutting natural rainforest vegetation to make way for coffee plantations, or discouraging natural bird habitats to protect a coffee bean crop. Knowing that the coffee provider for Dickinson, who produce the coffee I drink everyday, are actively working to support sustainable coffee growth, makes it easier to drink. I also only drink one cup a day, with the knowledge that each cup has traveled such a great distance to exist in Carlisle, PA.
It is a less direct path to determine who and where each banana comes from here at Dickinson. It seems every day the bananas I choose have different stickers on them identifying which Central or South American country they came from. Within the last week, I had bananas with a Colombia sticker and Costa Rica sticker on them. However, on these stickers is typically a Rainforest Alliance label. This label aligns many ideals with the cooperatives’ values identified the the coffee producers. It states that bananas are grown with minimal impact on the rainforest environment by using less herbicides and pesticides and preventing soil degradation and erosion. However, there are less transparencies with who grows the bananas and how workers are treated. Often the bananas in the caf have different labels on them from different companies. There is no way to determine how each of the producers treats their laborers at each subsidiary farm throughout Latin America. This insight has made me think about this fruit I consume so often. I eat bananas because I prefer them, but they have a much larger carbon footprint than, say, an apple. The bananas in the caf must travel thousands of miles, from farm, to ship, to port, by truck, to Dickinson. Most of our apples in the caf are grown just one county over, within a fifty mile radius.
3. Protein Blend (Whey Protein)
Whey is a byproduct of milk production, which I knew, and after checking to see if Land o Lakes, the parent company of many dairy farms in Cumberland County, produced whey protein, I was getting excited. My first two most consumed items come from places very far away from the United States, but I thought this least suspecting food item might actually be semi-locally sourced. Unfortunately, the brand does not publish exactly where they source their whey protein, but there is at least a chance some of it could come from Cumberland County. I have been able to visit local dairy farms throughout my time at Dickinson, where I learned about milk production, and that much of the dairy produced here isn’t transported in milk form, but actually broken down and separated into powder, like whey powder. There are a lot of variables in dairy production, such as whether a farm is sustainable, how dairy cows are treated, and what kind of labor they use. I can only hope that this main ingredient in my protein shake comes from farms that commit to good practice, but there aren’t clear distinctions like ‘Rainforest Alliance’ or ‘certified shade grown’ as there are with coffee and bananas. Looking at an ingredient list is a little daunting, especially when it shows that things have been changed or processed, like whey powder. I am sure that the powder had to travel hundreds of miles to be combined with other ingredients, just to travel more hundreds of miles to Carlisle, where I bought it.