Log Lunch on October 19 featured presentations on student summer research and internships. Amelia Simmons ’13 researched “The Secrets of Italian Salumi” with a Wilmers travel fellowship, using the Slow Food network of “endangered” local and traditional “presidia” breeds and food products to connect with small-scale meat producers in Italy. During eight weeks Amelia learned about the importance of family history and the demand for unique products by making salume as well as cheese, the role of tourism in agricultural activities such as “la transmuza” (walking sheep to higher pastures), how taste can drive production practices, and problems with scaling up production such as the need for standardization and trying to meet international preferences.
Celeste Berg ’13 spoke about her internship with the Sustainable Endowments Institute in Cambridge, MA (founded and directed by Mark Orlowski ’04!) and work on food and dining projects through the “Green Revolving Fund” model. Green Revolving Funds are used by institutions of higher education to invest in sustainability projects, and may be designed to invest a portion of the endowment or funds collected from academic departments or optional student “green fees.” Celeste produced a white paper on how campus Dining Services can use green revolving funds to support initiatives such as composting in the dining halls, kitchen retrofits, reusable water bottles and take-out containers, and even campus gardens. Her research demonstrated that dining projects provide an excellent opportunity for students to connect with green revolving funds, since they engage with food on a daily basis.