As a student who feels a strong moral obligation to eating local organic foods, knowing where my food comes from, and supporting my local farmers, I have been very frustrated with choices by dining services. I was extremely disappointed with St. Lawrence’s recent treatment of the North Country Grown Cooperative. I asked to be removed from the food plan so I could purchase my own food and support local farmers. I was told I was not allowed to be removed from the food plan. I wrote this letter in petition of that decision, and I felt it was important to share with the rest of the school, and the rest of the community. It is important local farmers understand there are many students on campus who wish to support them. It is equally important to make students on campus aware that their voice should be heard in regards to decisions made at St. Lawrence.
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to petition to be removed from the meal plan for next semester, Spring 2015. The practices of dining services in obtaining the food they serve do not align with my values. I am deeply committed to eating local organic foods, knowing where my food comes from, and supporting my local farmers. I appreciate efforts of dining services to provide a small organic and local selection, however this selection is very limited and does not provide for a balanced, healthy, nutritional diet. I ask to be removed from the meal plan in order to maintain a nutrient rich diet while living in light of my values.
I deeply appreciate dinning services efforts to accommodate the values of vegetarians on campus. At every meal, there is a vegetarian, protein rich option, filled with nutrients needed for non-meat eaters to maintain a healthy diet. I applaud dining services for providing at least one vegetarian option at every single dining facility on campus. St. Lawrence has clearly made efforts to accommodate the needs of students who have made a value-based decision to not consume meat. My commitment to eat local organic foods, to know where my food comes from, and to support my local community farmers is also a value-based decision and should be taken just as seriously by the schools as those that decide to eat vegetarian. I appreciate that it would be very expensive for the school to rearrange their operation to accommodate my choice to live by my values. Therefore, I am not requesting the school to make this change; rather I am simply requesting to be removed from the meal plan so I can continue to live in alignment with my values.
My education at St. Lawrence has encouraged me to care about environmental and sustainable issues. Through class discussions, numerous CBL opportunities, guest speakers, weekend workshops, and a summer internship on an organic farm, I have gained a deep-rooted desire to lead a more sustainable, environmentally conscious lifestyle. St. Lawrence has encouraged me to be a responsible citizen, an active member of my community, and a steward of the environment. Part of being an active citizen is voting. We do not just get to vote on Election Day, we can vote everyday by voting with our dollar. I strongly believe it is vital to support the practice of local organic farming. As such, I would like to spend my money supporting my local farmer instead of supporting major corporations like SYSCO.
St. Lawrence has inspired me to reflect on how my daily decisions affect others, including what I eat and what I buy. It has inspired me to take a stance in caring for and protecting the environment. It has inspired me to support my community. My education at St. Lawrence has inspired me to be removed from the meal plan so I can live by my values. I imagine because St. Lawrence strives to create students who are active, environmentally conscious, community oriented citizens; you will have no problem granting my request to be removed from the meal plan.
Thank you very much,