Intervale provides local food to students


Kailey Bates, Senior Staff Writer

Fresh, local, and sustainable food — this is what UVM is progressively feeding their students, and it’s made possible by organizations like Intervale.

The Intervale Center is a 360-acre farm in the middle of Burlington and a food hub that runs a Community Supported Agriculture program and delivers produce from nearby farms to UVM’s dining halls and other campus eateries.

Intervale exhibits the importance of food systems as a whole, and make the farm-to-table process more transparent, said Teddy Gamache, General Manager at Intervale.

According to Gamache, Intervale and Sodexo have a great working relationship since they began shipping food to UVM two years ago.

“This year we’re trying to get as much local food up on campus as possible,” he said.

For a side of fries with your veggie burger, “we get our potatoes from Venture Center in Hardwick, and a lot of that goes to Brennan’s and the Harris Millis dining hall,” Gamache said. “95% of what we ship to UVM is fresh produce, whatever is in season at the time.” he said.

Ed LaDue, Executive Chef in the Davis Center, enjoys cooking with in-season produce, he said.

“We get some great greens this time of year,” he said. “Everything coming from the local farms right now is just perfect produce.”

LaDue is aware of students’ opinion towards Sodexo food, he said.

“A lot of students assume UVM’s food is out of a frozen box,” he said. “If you look in our walk-in refrigerators, you’ll find fresh, organic food. The chefs make meals from scratch everyday.”

LaDue added that working with UVM has been an eye-opening experience in cooking with local food, compared to other institutions he’s worked for in the past.

“No other restaurant in this state could financially run all these products and still be afloat,” he said.

Intervale is also linked to UVM through education and research services.

“Our farm is essentially a living laboratory for students,” said Travis Marcotte, Executive Director at Intervale.

Students have the opportunity to work with staff and farmers to conduct research.

“We not only get students access to healthy food, we also get them talking about how they can change the world — from raising wages for farmers, to taking care of our land and water.” Marcotte said.

Sophomore Clarissa Libertelli went on a field trip to Intervale last year with her Environmental Studies class.

Libertelli is interested in environmental and social justice, and she admires Intervale’s commitment to sustainable food systems, she said.

“Since Intervale sources food that is in season, you really get to connect with the land, which is important in getting people to care about food justice and issues of the food system in general.” she said.

Intervale’s CSA program delivers food baskets to Redstone campus and the Davis Center every week, according to Gamache.

LaDue encouraged students to take the time to get to know the food they’re eating.

“Those that understand where our food is coming from realize they’re getting quality products.” he said.