Just a few generations ago in America, many families grew food in their own backyards, and the phrase "local food" wasn't part of our vocabulary. Most food was local, if not regional, and the occasional food from far away was considered a luxury and a treat. Then a perfect storm of factors aligned to make it inexpensive to grow, process, and transport large amounts of food. Home gardens and chicken coops were largely abandoned in favor of this abundant, inexpensive, and "fast" food.
We've since learned the many negative effects of eating mass produced and processed foods. Chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes have rapidly increased, and once fertile land is continually depleted of nutrients from unsustainable farming practices.
At Omega, we make a conscious effort to prepare foods from local sustainable farms "in our own backyard." We strive to serve fresh seasonal, organic, and local food both in our Dining Hall and at the Omega Café. Unlike mass produced and processed foods, organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy are digested and used in the body more efficiently.
There are many neighboring local farmers and vendors who help us serve more than 16,000 guests at our Rhinebeck campus each year. They supply the 150 pounds of potatoes, 2,000 eggs, and ingredients for the 150 loaves of bread that we serve during an average week. We are grateful to reap the benefits of the abundant fresh food New York's Hudson Valley has to offer and we're excited to share it with everyone who visits our campus.