New catering guide emphasizes vendors’ commitment to using local foods

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Tar Heel Guide to Local CateringA new catering guide will help event organizers at UNC Chapel Hill to find food vendors who strive to use local foods and farm products as much as possible.

Researchers at the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) created the Tar Heel Catering Guide to Restaurants and Caterers Using Local Food to help University departments identify caterers, restaurants and vendors to provide a broader range of food options at University meetings and events.  The guide is available as a downloadable pdf file at: http://www.hpdp.unc.edu/media/sustainableagriculture/tar_heel_guide_to_local_food.pdf

“I met with all five deans of the health affairs schools, and we decided what we really need is a guide to local food catering,” said Alice Ammerman, director of HPDP and the principal investigator on several projects related to sustainable agriculture. The deans told her research team that many departments are looking for caterers and restaurants that prioritize offering menu items that feature local farm products and offer fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the area.

The new guide includes a whole host of businesses that have taken a pledge to offer local foods as much as possible. At this time the guide defines local as Orange, Chatham, Durham, Alamance and Wake counties.

In addition to featuring local foods, many caterers and restaurants listed in the guide also subscribe to local food philosophies, such as making local meat, dairy and produce offerings a priority even if it means higher cost or more difficult logistics for sourcing products. The guide also lists local food resources such as farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) programs, and also provides a resource list of organizations focused on local and sustainable agriculture.

For more information about the guide, contact Robin Crowder at robin_crowder@unc.edu.
HPDP contact: Sonya Sutton, ssutton@unc.edu, 919-966-4118

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