Meeting Minutes – October 15, 2007 Posted on October 15th, 2007 by

Present: J. Dontje, L. Heldke, C. Johnson-Groh. S. Kejellgren, A. Molde, A. Twiton, K Knudson, L Fulner

  1. Announcements Updates, etc.
    • Video conference, November 14
    • Steve, Warren and Jim will visit St. Olaf to view composting facilities
    • Lisa presented idea of creating a local meal with food produced by Gustavus alumni.
    • Kristen and Lauren reported on a ‘green’ series to run in the Weekly.
  2. Internship discussion
    • Lisa, Jim, Steve and Brian Koeneman met to discuss the food internship
    • Focus will be food choices, nutrition, environmental implications of choices, sociology of dining, etc.
    • Two interns; one maybe nutritional and one environmental
    • Each intern will investigate problem focusing on consumer choices.
    • Jim will write description and circulate among committee members.
    • The idea of having a “consumer advocate” and rotating with the Bookmark was briefly discussed.
    • Kitchen Cabinet will serve as the selection committee for the applicants.
    • Criteria for students: junior or senior, interest and applicability to career
    • Interested students will submit a preproposal.
  3. To-go box issue
    • Andi presented his findings from other institutions (below)
    • Discussion: needs to focus on educational aspects of boxes (why not to use boxes); table tents, etc.
    • Steve reported ~$30,000 is spent on to go boxes.
    • Discussion: ways of getting more folks to dine in (designated table to meet new folks, Peer assistants hosting table and inviting others.

Next Meeting: Tuesday, 30 October, 9 am

To-Go Containers

School Currently Uses Past/Future Alternatives Other notes
Humboldt – Paper to-go boxes that the customer needs to request
– Customer charged for box
– Past: a plastic insulated bowl similar to the insulated drink (coffee) mugs that some conveniences stores offer with their logo on it. Great product for in that it was insulated, dishwasher safe and could take some microwave use. The product was used in the health care field to send meals to patients in their rooms. Unfortunately the company stopped making the product
– tortilla warming bowls – do not hold temp very good
Would like to hear back if we find a good option.
University of California, Santa Barbara – Used and still uses Styrofoam (at least for a little while longer). UCSB is making a switch to biodegradable containers – In process: switch to compostable biodegradable products – if the price was affordable. Even though the cost was higher – (by about 64% overall) – the usage was not significant enough to make a huge dollar impact on budget – switching after other containers run out. Stems from environmental concerns with using Styrofoam and other products made from non recycled materials.
– Hope to conserve by not using as many disposable products (have staff use reusable drink cups etc).
– switching to products made from corn and/or sugar – utensils from potatoes – and are certified compostable. Goal would be eventually to ask students to put these in a trash container that could be picked up and sent to compost – not in place yet
– Meals taken to go are not a huge part of residential dining, though this is changing
– Several convenience and retail stores on campus but these are not run by dining services
Frederick Community College – Combination of Styrofoam, paper, and plastics
– To-go makes up about 25-35% of their business, growing
– Concerned about cost, presentation of food as well as environmental concerns
Middlebury College – Residential Dining takes place in dining hall, no to-go boxes in these operations
– Retail Operations use a plastic clam-shell container
– Limit the amount of packaging whenever feasible
– It has been promised that plastic containers would be changed over to corn resign and compostable products. Failed to Materialize. – Environmentally focused institution
Tufts – Plastic containers – Have not found a viable alternative. Part of their goals as a department this year.
Bates – Try to minimize. When they are used they use unbleached, compostable or biodegradable. – Goal to minimize use of paper products – Many compostable options on the market right now. Be careful that when we look at these products. All of these options cannot handle heat.
Notre Dame – Restaurants use ‘foam’ containers (no CFCs)
– Pizza boxes, ‘chef’ salad bowls, pre-made sandwich containers
– Continuing their search for better containers. Currently looking into a line from a company called Fold-Pak – Recommended that we have companies send us their Public Relations people to inform students about options and issues. Talk to vendors.
Dartmouth Biodegradable boxes have not lived up to expectations for a number of reasons

  1. They do not hold food like pasta and sauce for more than a half hour before they fall apart.
  2. They are flimsy, so when a heavy product is put into the container they have a tendency to warp.
  3. Dishonest students conceal food.
  4. Expensive compared to recyclable plastic container.
Wheaton, Bon Appetit – Mostly china program
– a few Styrofoam containers for staff and faculty
– looked into biodegradable containers, however found that it takes a lot more energy to produce these
Cornell – Extensive composting operation
– compostable utensils (made from corn starch) at Moosewood
Moosewood at Anabel—smaller operation with a completely vegetarian menu focused on sustainability
Bowdoin – Green Wave Biodegradable products for hot food
– wrap sandwiches in plastic wrap
– reusable bags, sell at cost and enter students in a drawing for prizes
– reusable coffee mugs and a mug washing service in the dining halls

Education and Outreach Position

  • Short answer no
  • Nutritionist two years ago, cut from budget, resided in the health center
  • Story boards with local purchasing connections, not done by a specific position
  • Nutrition and Marketing Specialist, helps plan menu, product recommendations for healthy eating
  • Coordinates creation and printing of annual marketing materials likewise for special events
  • Position is part-time (.7 FTE), typically 4 7-hour days
  • Recently has become more involved in environmental stewardship. Sits on a campus-wide committee known as FEAST: Food, education and action for sustainability at Tufts
  • Position not responsible for creating materials for FEAST but helps the committee create educational materials
  • A number of students contacted the Specialist this year recently expressing a desire to learn to eat healthy and desire to increase the healthy offerings as well as educate students about healthy choices. Group formed FoodTalk.
  • FoodTalk had their first educational event at Tuft’s annual Fall Harvest Food Festival.
  • Director responsible for this kind of work. Some work done by FAC – Food Advisory Committee.
Notre Dame
  • Manager of Nutrition and Safety
  • Key requirement for pos: registered dietician
  • 60-70% of time spent in private consultation with individuals
  • 20% spent on medically restrictive dietary needs
  • Manager serves on Social Responsibility Committee that deals with all sorts of issues – cage free eggs, recycling, energy conservation, local sourcing of products, etc.
  • Available for group tours of the dining services
  • Dietician and nutritionist on staff
  • Not solely dedicated to outreach programs
  • Individual work
  • Dartmouth has a position for a Sustainability Coordinator on campus, but currently vacant
Wheaton, Bon Appetit
  • No
  • All managers perform duty when dealing with students
  • Work with Nutrition and Health classes – class visits to talk about dining services
  • Nutritionist (6-10 hours a week)
  • Meets with students
  • Visible in dining halls
  • Assists chefs on how best to share nutritional information
  • Director oversees education
  • Monthly education bulletin boards, monthly themes
  • Special events like identifying foods for the entire week prior to the student blood drive that are high in iron and folic acid.
  • Session for interested students on identifying portion sizes
  • Servery tours with students, faculty, and staff to talk about the food being offered and how to make healthy choices

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