by Jon V.

Deep in an ancient jungle, where yellow fever and malaria ran rampant, there once existed a primordial species of man. A creature that’s communication relied heavily on a system of grunting and rough gestures. In order to meet their nutritional needs, they hunted what animals they could find, and ate as many natural vegetables as they could harvest. The food they ate was largely determined by what they managed to attain on a daily basis. Today here at The Island School, little has changed about the way we communicate. But the way we eat has changed dramatically.

The typical Island School student has large caloric needs. After a long run or swim, many students can’t wait to get to breakfast and stuff themselves full of warm buttery sweet goodness. The granola with yogurt, the eggs and hash, the chocolate chip pancakes, all of these are delicacies compared to the meat and leafy greens our ancestors once enjoyed. Then why do the students complain about the food? Why do students feel the need to tell everybody and their brother that the food at The Island School is not only bad but there is not enough of it? The answer lies once again within the deep jungle. If you were to venture into the ancient jungles thick scrubland, smell the damp forest air while clambering over various logs and traversing treacherous trails and if you were to come upon the primeval version of yourself, you may notice that there are no kitchen ladies cooking them three meals a day. It is probable that one does not have to leave their hometown to find unfortunate people who are not nearly as blessed as we are. We as humans take for granted the ease that food comes to us, even here at The Island School.

In order to satiate the student’s enormous appetite, meeting their basic nutritional needs as well as satisfying their taste for food is a bigger challenge than I had thought previously. In my food mand-elective, I worked this week on creating the menu for the next three weeks. Pulling from past meals, my group of four attempted to find a balance involving several factors. We didn’t want to have meat too often due to the fact that our current sources are not as sustainable as we prefer. On the other hand, if we never have meat, then students would certainly begin to complain. Also, we attempted to balance out meal types. If we had soup one night, we did not select soup for the next night.

In the food elective, aside from the smaller task of meal development, we are focusing on identifying the sources of our meat, and creating and beginning to implement a long-term plan of becoming more sustainable. The best method for a sustainable food source would be to grow all food on campus. Probably the next best option is to buy from locals. I have created a recipe that hopefully will taste good (no promises), but uses many resources available on campus.

Sapodilla glazed ham

Ingredients:

Pork leg

7 Sapodillas

2 tbsp. Salt

Slice the pork thinly (about ¼ inch) salt pork.

Harvest and mash ripe sapodillas. Remove seeds and large chunks.

Rub pork all over with the sweet pulp, marinate slices in sapodilla juice.

Cook in a frying pan over stove on low until meat is done. Enjoy!