Local foods add fresh flavor at the NRAO
When you head to the Starlight Cafe at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank for a meal, you may be eating produce grown by your neighbor.
Alan Dutchess, Housing and Food Services Supervisor at the NRAO, has spent the past several years building a list of local growers of fresh produce for the cafe and employee cafeteria.
ﾓI use local foods mostly because itﾒs grown for taste and because itﾒs local,ﾔ he said. ﾓIﾒm spending money in the county.ﾔ
His use of local foods began when he was a chef at Elk River Restaurant in Slaty Fork.
Dutchess currently purchases produce from 10 local farms, but would love to buy from more.
Although some may say you canﾒt tell the difference between store bought and locally grown when it comes to taste, Dutchess begs to differ.
ﾓI always hear about it when we run out of farm eggs and have to use store bought eggs,ﾓ he said. ﾓYou can definitely tell a difference.ﾔ
Along with the nutritional value of buying locally grown produce and locally raised meat, Dutchess said the economy of Pocahontas County benefits.
ﾓIf youﾒre going to build a strong local economy, the best place to start is food,ﾔ he said. ﾓItﾒs a necessity.ﾔ
Dutchess said he hopes that through word of mouth and more emphasis on local foods that local growers can turn their hobby into a career.
ﾓIf I could, I would buy everything from local growers,ﾔ he said.