UIC Jumps on the Slow Food Train with New Farmer's Fridge On Campus!

Food and commuter life. Let’s talk about it.

Here’s a normal day:

Wake up at the crack of dawn

Milk the cows (right?)

Check the to-do list

-       Shower

-       Brush teeth

-       Eat breakfast

-       Get dressed

-       Pack gym bag

-       PACK LUNCH, DINNER AND 2 SNACKS

On my longest day, which involves leaving for rowing practice at 5 am and returning home by 9 pm, I leave the house feeling like I’m packed for a week-long backpacking trip in the Ozarks.

As a commuter student with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and food allergies including gluten and dairy, I have to cook every single one of my meals unless I want it to be a day to remember.

So, what happens if I forget to pack a meal one day? Let’s just say that UIC hasn't historically been the friendliest environment for someone with dietary restrictions.

Almost all of the food on campus, save for bananas and apples, are packaged and processed, which, food allergies or not, is not the brain food that students need to perform at their optimal level.

Up until recently, it was virtually impossible to find healthy, fresh options at UIC. Students walking around with a box of donuts is a common sight on campus, and the only immediate meal options are fast food chains like Dunkin Donuts, Subway and Sbarro, which is great if you're planning on taking a nap for the rest of the afternoon.

So, you can imagine the excitement I felt when stumbling upon UIC’s new Farmer’s Fridge at BSB (I can still hear the choir of angels singing)!

FINALLY! A fast, freshly made option that we can feel good about buying!

Farmer’s Fridge is a big ole wooden vending machine (or “veggie machine” as the company calls it), that freshly delivers healthy meals and snacks on a daily basis. Salads are prepared from scratch every morning, and the unsold salads from the previous day are donated to local food pantries!

The fridge features salads such as the Avocado BLT (a.k.a. Salad is the New Sandwich), Asian Chicken Salad, and High Protein Salad (a.k.a. The Body Builder), which contains super foods like quinoa, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas and DRIED FIGS! These are just a few of the sexy salads offered.

Farmer’s Fridge even serves breakfast in a jar, offering Almond Butter Oatmeal, Huevos Rancheros, and Fruit. If you’re just looking for a small snack (or dessert), there’s chocolate trail mix and GLUTEN FREE chocolate chip cookie dough. That’s right – GLUTEN FREE!

Sound too good to be true? Wait for it…each salad costs $7.

The company believes that healthy, sustainably sourced food should be as easy (i.e. easier) to access than junk food. The kiosk itself is an example of sustainable beauty, as it is energy efficient and uses under $25 energy a month. Not only that, but all of the structure’s wood is reclaimed. By eating food that is sustainably supplied through a chain that the consumer can trace, we are able to connect to the source of our food and contribute not only to lower carbon emissions, but to supporting local farmers and getting in the habit of making conscious consumer decisions about where our food comes from and what we put into our bodies.

You can find the Fridge next to the vending machines in BSB across from Au Bon Pain.

And don’t forget - when you’re finished with your jar, simply recycle the container and lid at any Farmer’s Fridge kiosk!

(Choir of angels still singing)