Highlights of the OCTOBER 2013 Issue
When Manuel Abarca, recycling operations
coordinator with the Center
for Sustainability at the University of
Kansas (KU) in Lawrence first arrived on
campus in January, KU Recycling was
looking to build a recycling culture on
“I didn't feel like there was one that
was established,” he said. “So we tried to
think of a way that would get that going,
because it is not about hanging signs out
and having it happen. There had to be
something that sparked the movement.”
That was when the center decided to
approach the Athletics Department for
some help. “Obviously, when you think
of KU, you think of KU Basketball,” he
said. “From KU Basketball is where everything
started. Last season, I walked
around two of the last home games for
basketball. From that, I realized that we
were missing a lot of material.” ...
The program's first steps seem to be
successful. “A total 22 percent of our
waste was diverted,” said Abarca. “We
recycled about 1.5 tons of material and
we were at just .75 ton for compost. One
hundred percent of that material would
have gone to the landfill.” ...
Read more KU TAKES STEPS TO LOWER WASTE AT ATHLETIC EVENTS ...
Dining Services at the University of Montana in Missoula
recently installed a closed-loop aquaponics
food production system in its residential dining hall,
the Food Zoo.
Aquaponics is an integrated sustainable food production
system that combines traditional aquaculture
(raising seafood) with hydroponics (growing plants in
water), to produce food, fertilizer and manage waste all
in one self-contained system. Fish are raised in tanks
where they produce waste in the form of ammonia. This
ammonia is perfect for feeding plants, but isn't yet in a
form that is useful for plants. The water in the tank is
inoculated with microbes that convert the fish ammonia
into nitrogen that is useful for plants. The water is then
pumped into the growing area where it makes its way
through four levels of plants and volcanic rocks that
take up the nutrients and effectively filter the water.
The clean water is then returned to the fish tank and
the cycle continues.
The system also has a financial benefit
for Dining Services. With a market rate
of $36 per pound from local growers, the
200 pounds produced equals $7,200 worth
of product. “While these systems are great
for producing food, they are also models
of innovation in the food industry and
demonstrate a commitment to sustainability
that is visible to the community,”” said
Christina Voyles, director of Marketing
with University Dining Services. “Our
system has provided a forum to bring students
and community together to discuss
sustainable food systems, and provides
an excellent model for how students can
engage the campus to become leaders in
sustainable food systems.” ...
Read more AQUAPONICS A SUCCESS AT MONTANA ...
Dining Services at Morehead State University in
Kentucky, operated by Aramark, has begun purchasing
a number of its ingredients from a very local
source — the university itself.
The university, through its Department of Agricultural
Sciences, runs a farm that produces produce,
cattle and even seafood. “In the past, they taught local
farmers and Agricultural Science majors how to farm
tobacco, using a water method,” said Eric Evans, general
manager of Dining Services. “They used ponds.
Since the university is going away from tobacco, they
got into raising freshwater shrimp and freshwater tilapia in these old tobacco
ponds. When they started
doing that, they found that
they didn’t quite have the
market after they harvested
they were teaching folks
how to do it, but the fish
and the shrimp weren’t
really selling at the local
When they didn’t find
a market for the items,
they asked Aramark, as
their dining service partner,
to purchase them.
“For the last two years,
as they harvest the shrimp
and tilapia, we have been
purchasing them and using
them in our dining
services,” he said. “We do
a lot of high-end catering
with the shrimp, because
it is not a vast quantity.
With the tilapia, we serve
it in our residential halls,
in our retail areas, when
they come in.” ...
Read more MSU: IT DOESN'T GET MORE LOCAL THAN THIS...
The demand for sustainable products
and services in college and
university food service remains
very high. Students, faculty and
staff have an increased interest in knowing how their schools are working to
meet this demand.
Letting them know what programs
you are undertaking on campus is a start,
but being able to provide them with the
green initiatives your suppliers have implemented will help you to broaden your students' understanding of the total efforts you are taking on campus. ...
Read more GREEN DIRECTORY...
The popularity of seafood
has been growing on the
campus of Murray State
University in Kentucky for the
last few years.
“Murray State is located in
Western Kentucky, so the accessibility
of seagoing fish has not
been huge around here,” said Tim Bruce, department chef
manager. “As we introduce
more fish, it seems like over
the last couple of years, it is
definitely starting to grow. Students,
in general, are starting to
eat healthier and definitely have
more food knowledge than in
past years. All that adds up to
more interesting items.” ...
“We make our order on Monday morning or Sunday night,
and get our fish on Wednesday morning,” he said. “They have
an online order system where you can see all of the different
docks they work with and what's available off of those docks. We
certainly have some price structures we work in, so we normally
stay within those and know what is available for that week.”
He continued, “The fact that it was small-boat, day fishermen,
even though they are not local to us, they are all family-run
businesses, so it was worthwhile via the double-bubble
of the freshness of this fish — letting the kids try these ocean
fishes that are really fresh and sustainable. The fact that we
are supporting local, small businessmen and women and their
families just hit on a lot of good notes for us. Is it a little more
expensive than buying from our prime vendor? Yes, but I think
it is more than worth it.” ...
Read more MURRAY STATE SERVES UP FRESH SEAFOOD...
With a new 600-bed resident hall opening adjacent to the Durrell Dining
Center at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, the time was
right for a renovation.
The building was originally built in 1968. “Before we renovated it, the facility
was not capable of serving an additional 600 people,” said Deon Lategan,
director of Residential Dining. “We renovated the upstairs, which was an old
'60s stainless-steel-counter-type place. We opened the kitchen, and then we
added the venues out front. Those are heavily equipped, so a lot of the production
happens out-front marketplace-style in front of the customer.”
The university chose to complete the $10 million renovation a full year
before the new residence hall is scheduled to open. “It is a huge project, so
we closed last year while we were doing this renovation,” he said. “We really
opened a year in advance prior to the students getting here. The method in our
madness was that we wanted to make sure that we could handle it. To open a
new facility is a complex process, and then to add an additional 600 students
[at the same time] was something that we really weren't prepared to do.”
A major part of the renovation was streamlining speed of service, while
also allowing the students the ability to customize their meals. “We moved
a lot of the production out to the customer, so the throughput is a lot faster
than the traditional stand in lane and wait for whatever is being served that
day,” said Lategan. ...
Read more RENOVATED DURRELL DINING CENTER OPENS AT COLORADO STATE ...
Since it first opened in 2001, Port Sky Café at Penn State
Altoona has offered classic American fare and a place to
meet and study for nearly 4,000 enrolled students, as well as
faculty and staff. With its stainless steel fixtures and images of
drive-ins and waitresses on roller skates lining the walls, the
dining commons offered a look back to the 1950s. Eventually
though, the thriving campus began to outgrow the space and
the diner theme became dated, which led Housing and Food
Services to prepare for a renovation.
“We outgrew ourselves because we became a four-year
college,” said Alison Bonsell, director of Housing and Food
Services. “For that reason, it started to get pretty crowded.
Students complained that the lines were too long to the registers.
The food was cold by the time they got through. They couldn't
find seats and friends could not sit together. We outgrew it, but
we also wanted to modernize the look.”
“We wanted to stay current,” added Chris Hurley, senior
director, Housing and Food Services, Commonwealth Campus
and Culinary Support Services. “We wanted to offer new products,
new cooking methods, as well as keep with what students
are experiencing outside of school.”
Read more PENN STATE ALTOONA OPENS RENOVATED PORT SKY CAFÉ ...