Author: Mcdonnell, Alyssa

Farm to Institution

Farm to Institute Cover

UConn Undergraduates Hannah Colonies-Kelley and Matt Chen, with ARE Assistant Professor Cristina Connolly, present their findings on UConn’s procurement practices in the report, "Farm to Institution: Highlighting Local Food Procurement at the University of Connecticut". 

Here are some highlights of their findings: 

  • Pre-Covid, nearly 40% of UConn’s food was locally procured. 
  • While students expressed a desire for locally procured products, over 60% were unwilling to pay a premium (defined as a price increase in the meal plan). 
  • Most students are not aware of UConn Dining’s sustainability practices, suggesting a need for improved marketing. 
  • Only 12% of food insecure students were aware of the ability to request dining

You can read their full report on the Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy Outreach Reports Page

ARE Students win grant to study UConn local food procurement

Matt Chen and Hannah Colonies-Kelley

ARE seniors Matt Chen and Hannah Colonies-Kelley were awarded an Environmental and Social Sustainability Grant from the Office of Sustainability to study the procurement practices of UConn dining. Through initial interviews with Dining Services personnel, Chen and Kelley learned about UConn’s high levels of local food procurement (approximately 36% pre-pandemic compared to 20% or less at most other institutions) and innovative initiatives to reduce food waste. They are designing a survey to understand students’ food insecurity challenges and awareness of UConn Dining’s sustainability practices, and will be interviewing local agricultural producers. These results will help them develop marketing recommendations for Dining Services, and a report detailing their final results should be forthcoming in July.

You can read more about the grant and Matt and Hannah in UConn Today:

Hannah Colonies-Kelley Senior Spotlight

Matt Chen Senior Spotlight 

PhD Candidate Binod Khanal on Plant-Based Milk

PhD Candidate Binod Khanal was recently quoted in an article in The Guardian, “Paying extra for milk alternatives: unfair, illogical- and a little bit racist?”.

““In the long term, the prices for plant-based milk might go down as the size of the industry increases, allowing for more competition in the market,” said Binod Khanal, who researches agricultural economics and consumer behavior at the University of Connecticut. He said the preference for plant-based milk among consumers is largely due to concerns for climate change as well as lactose intolerance, predominantly among the non-white demographic. “