Monica Theis and Michelle Miller talk about local food on campus

Food science instructor Monica Theis  and CIAS associate director Michelle Miller were among the experts interviewed by University Communications writer Jill Sakai for an article on how campus dining facilities are incorporating locally grown foods into their menus. CALS photographer Wolfgang Hoffmann provided images for the story. In the article, Miller talks about the existing and potential market for local food in the Midwest, based on findings from a study done by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University in partnership with CIAS. The study calculated that increasing local fruit and vegetable production to meet the demand of regional metropolitan areas could add up to an estimated $72 million in farm sales and more than 800 jobs in Wisconsin. “It’s not the market that’s missing, it’s the infrastructure,” she says. A few paragraphs down, Theis says that the issue of sourcing food locally isn’t as simple as often presented. Theis and students have been using a small plot in the Allen Centennial Gardens to provide vegetables to UW Housing’s kitchens. It’s been a “modest demonstration of the joys and pitfalls of growing and serving food close to home,” Sakai writes.

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