The Yale Sustainable Food Project, which was launched in 2001 with the help of renowned chef Alice Waters, offers a hands-on collaborative learning experience for students and members of the community. It serves as a valuable resource for learning about food cultivation and for connecting students to their environment. The volunteer farm crews are mostly students who come for the rewarding work, camaraderie, and the brick over pizza baked on-site and topped with freshly harvested ingredients. The Yale Farm also sells produce at the Wooster Square farmers’ market in New Haven.
The Farm is just one example of how Yale uses food as a teaching tool. It’s no surprise that the easiest place to get a college student’s undivided attention is in the dining hall. More than 40 percent of the ingredients used to prepare the 15,000 meals served at Yale every day are locally grown, organic, or both. That translates into healthier, tastier food, happier students, and a reduced carbon “foodprint.”
Throughout the year, the Dining Hall team educates students about the benefits of sustainably grown and prepared food. Yale Dining Services also offers weekend field trips to nearby farms that provide products for the student menus.