April 4, 2010

University Dining to Use Local Beef to Promote Food Sustainability

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Last Monday, Cornell Dining added a new project to its ever-growing list of sustainability initiatives, replacing traditional beef patties with natural, locally grown ones. As part of the new program, which will partner with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and the Department of Animal Science and was made possible with funding from the New York State Farm Viability Institute, Cornell Dining will begin exclusively using local beef in four dining locations, including at the Ivy Room, Bear Necessities, Trillium and West Side Express.

The beef will be produced without the use of hormone growth implants or daily antibiotics and will travel “less than 65 miles” between the time it is raised, processed and delivered to the University, Gail Finan, director of Cornell Dining, stated in a press release. Previously, the beef patties had been processed and shipped to Ithaca from the Bronx in New York City.

“This new program drastically reduces the food miles and carbon footprint Cornell Dining was experiencing under its former beef program,” Finan added.

Cornell Dining will also begin experimenting with using the prime cuts of beef, including sirloin, short loin and rib, at its all you care to eat dining halls and with Cornell Catering.

“This is an ongoing program which we intend to continue to grow. Not only is it part of our commitment to sustainability, but it will put thousands of dollars in the hands of local farmers and businesses,” Finan said.

Original Author: Ben Gitlin