Posts by

Elise Kulers

After five semesters as the Midwest Fellow, I’ve had countless opportunities to engage with food systems in creative ways. These experiences have instilled a deeper understanding of the realities of food service and sustainability at large. This broadened perspective has added nuance to my food systems experience, and kept me continually inspired by passionate students, chefs, and farmers that I’ve had the pleasure to work with and learn from.  

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Bon Appétit teams have long sought to support our college campuses in their efforts to address student food insecurity in inventive ways. From food pantries and swipe donation programs to food co-ops and food recovery, there are many encouraging examples of how our teams are working with their campus communities to confront a complex and pervasive, yet often invisible hardship. 

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Tucked away on the edge of campus, over a bridge and beside the athletic fields, lies The Farm at Butler, a gem within Butler University in Indianapolis, IN.  Just shy of one acre, this agricultural oasis is a clear example of how urban farming can transform previously dormant land into a thriving ecosystem and classroom.  

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Twenty DePauw University first-years are spending the morning at the Ullem Campus Farm in Greencastle, IN. Rather than sitting in a classroom, they are outside enjoying the first wisps of fall, bringing shovels down into the rich soil to unearth the starchy golden gems below.

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Across the country, Bon Appétit teams have been hard at work paving the way for a plant-forward revolution. The Bon Appétit Fellows have embarked on a similar mission to spread inspiration and knowledge about how to cook with vegetables through a series of plant-based cooking demonstrations for college students.  

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Unlike most farm animals raised in the U.S., Greg Gunthorp’s turkeys, pigs, ducks, and sheep will never know the inside of an industrial livestock house. Instead, they spend their days outside on pasture, running amongst the trees in the rolling hills of Northeast Indiana.

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Standing in front of a group of eager and talented cooking class participants in the Few Demo Kitchen at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, I couldn’t help but feel a wave of gratitude and familiarity. Back when I was a student at Emory a few short years ago, cooking demos with Slow Food Emory were one of the highlights of each semester, igniting the spark that led to a deep-seated love of talking and teaching about food.

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Cucumber vines climbed 10 feet high to the top of the hoop house, leafy ginger plants intermingled with milkweed, calendula, and kale, and sunflowers towered over Fellow Elise Kulers during her visit to the Knox College Farm in Galesburg, Illinois.

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On a sunny fall afternoon outside of Terre Haute, Indiana, Midwest Fellow Elise Kulers joined 20 first-year and transfer students of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods college on a tour of the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice farm.

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Fellow Elise Kulers visited Bui Natural Tofu, a beloved Locally Crafted partner at Reed College and a mainstay for tofu enthusiasts in Portland, Oregon.

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