COA's Blair Dining Hall, affectionately referred to as “Take-a-Break,” offers options from th...COA's Blair Dining Hall, affectionately referred to as “Take-a-Break,” offers options from the college's own farms that cater to vegans and omnivores alike.

Bees & Society; Gardens & Greenhouses; The Anthropology of Food; and The Art & Science of Fermented Foods are some of the classes offered by the College of the Atlantic (COA) devoted to the study of food systems. Kourtney Collum, the chair of COA’s Food & Sustainable Agriculture Systems program, and fellow faculty member Suzanne Morse, the chair of the botany department, recently teamed up to take a deep dive into the college’s “foodprint.”

What exactly is a foodprint? As a student in the COA foodprint class, I learned about the nitty gritty details of where our food comes from: how every ingredient travels to Mount Desert Island and how the complex web of farmers, producers, and distributors that make up the institution’s unique food system work together to provide the campus community with quality meals. Little did we know that such a small school in a rural location would have a foodprint with such an impressive boot size.

As a class, we set out on a mission to map the College of Atlantic’s food system by pulling back the curtain to reveal all the players behind the food on our plates in the dining hall. From doing the work of sourcing our food for campus dining options to becoming familiar with who was cooking for us day in and day out, our seven-student team fully immersed ourselves in the COA food system and created an art installation in the dining hall to honor the people who play a key role.

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