This is part of the series about the Taste of Penn.
At the Taste of Penn, I have to say that the most delicious food came from the rice products at Lundberg Family Farms. The rice salad was phenomenal; it was textured, fresh, and the representative could list off all the ingredients when I asked for them.
The barbecue rice chips were also amazing. They don't taste extremely ricey (like rice crackers), but you can definitely tell that they aren't made from corn or potato. There is a ton of spice, which beats anything made by Pirate's Booty, and it's also really crunchy.
The flavours that they have are also ridiculously unique; Sesame and Seaweed, and Honey Dijon are flavours that I HAVE TO try one day (seaweed chips are rare out of Asia)!!
Lundberg Family Farms claims to be sustainable and family owned, and I asked where the farm is based. The representative said "California", which is a rather large carbon footprint (transportation) if you want to ship rice over to Penn Dining in Pennsylvania, every week/month. I mean, the Carolinas have rice farms too, and if they supplied rice for Penn, it'd be much more environmentally friendly. I voiced this concern, and the representative did go on about how they contribute to sustainability/eco-friendly behaviours, and that, yeah, transportation will always be an issue.
And, although Penn dining does boast the same things over and over (they make soup from scratch, they use local stuff, within 150 miles), all of it is pretty gilded when you consider that this rice will end up being from California (if they choose this vendor), fruit comes from all over the world, and the oyster crackers, ice cream, peanut butter, and sprinkles all come from U.S. food oligarchies with farms factories that are definitely not within a 150-mile radius. Oh, and the vegetarian soup has been vegetarian chili for the whole spring semester.
I'm eating a lot of peanut butter right now.