Produce presentation may not be top on every scholar's list, but it is a source of pride for Danforth Dining Center at the University of Rochester River Campus. Danforth recently won the first annual 5 A Day Produce in the Spotlight Menu Contest. The award is presented by the Produce for Better Health Foundation to foodservice operations whose menus and displays promote the goal of eating "5 (servings of fruits and vegetables) A Day." Danforth placed first in the college category.
According to the Foundation, Danforth received the award because of its abundant selection of fruits and vegetables as well as its printed materials encouraging students to eat five servings daily. Said Foundation president Elizabeth Pivonka, "Not only were many fruits and vegetables available, but the University went out of its way to educate students about the need to eat '5 A Day.' "
Denise Paley, manager of Danforth, says one feature of the all-you-can-eat facility is the salad bar, which "features a minimum of 15 varieties of fruits and vegetables to choose a salad of your creation." She also mentions the grill area at which students may use fresh salad bar items--among other ingredients--to make their own omelets, pitas, and grilled sandwiches.
"Every day at lunch the customers can choose from 20 different items to create their own stir fry, and then the student cook will stir-fry it to order," Paley adds. She also points out that "fresh fruit is set out in baskets at each meal for the customer's convenience."
The judging took place during the fall semester, which also marked the opening of the salad bar preparation area at Danforth, where the staff can be seen preparing the fresh salad bar ingredients. The dining center will receive a commemorative award plaque. Health rewards for students who get their "5 A Day" at Danforth are even better.
The Produce for Better Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to informing people about the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, including reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. The "5 A Day" program is sponsored by the Foundation in cooperation with the National Cancer Institute