Kitchen Cabinet Minutes: 3-1-2010

Posted on March 1st, 2010 by

Present: Joe L., Mike S., Aaron B., Sujay R., Steve K., Judy D., Jim D., Susan K., Sara B., Stacy G., Bob Douglas, and Deborah D.M.

Over a breakfast of fruit, lemon cream pancakes, fresh raspberry syrup, bacon, and caramel bran muffins, the group introduced themselves and the particulars of their involvement on the most sought after cabinet seats on campus.

Bob D. mentioned a colleague who has planted native corn on the MSU campus and was wondering about an opportunity to do the same at Gustavus in light of Nobel 2010. The committee was intrigued and discussed possible locations for such a planting. Bob was encouraged to visit with Chuck and/or Lisa to pursue the idea/project further. Deborah suggested that Nobel 2010 conference goers might appreciate a walking tour of the corn planting as well as the Big Hill Farm.

Jim D. talked of possible location difficulties with the Big Hill Farm and on-going exploration as to where it might be best located permanently. Because of soil amendments and time investments into garden site preparations, it is not desirable to be changing locations frequently or at all. Jim is requesting support from the college in the form of student wages for gardeners and Steve can be supportive financially by exchanging $’s for produce. With the college’s global focus on food in 2010 and with the food centered nature of Nobel 2010, the Big Hill Farm/garden holds great potential and opportunity that the KC recognizes and supports. There is desire to maintain the student natured-ness of the project with greater support from the academy and her administration. Kitchen Cabinet members will be asked to be active members on the ‘frost warning emergency call list’.

Steve advised the cabinet of the modest increase in food plan rates for FY 2011 and of the support of the college administration of social, environmental, and ethical opportunities inherent in the student meal plan and college dining program. Steve assured the committee he has not heard serious consideration of outsourcing services but that it is a conversation that should, and does, take place on occasion as it impacts the overall college budget. Bookstores, printshops, post offices, finance offices, custodial services, grounds and facilities and security functions are also areas that can be and are outsourced at other institutions. The KC feels there is much value in ‘keeping it local’.

Susan K., representing the Greens, was pleased with the receptive nature of the KC in terms of environmentally related meal program concerns. She was advised that is always a good place to start in seeking information or making suggestions and was assured access to information about food/beverage sourcing through Steve or the Dining Service purchaser, Rick Prososki.

Steve invited KC’rs to consider how the cabinet might serve to further the on-campus experience for Nobel 2010 and the global focus. We will revisit this each meeting.

Some very good discussion took place among the faculty on the committee re: how the global insight and reading in common program on food is incorporated (or not) into the curriculum in general and perhaps FTS in particular.
Following discussion on how it is we tell the story of what, why, how, etc., the dining program entails and supports at Gustavus; Steve will continue to think of ways and opportunities to make that happen. If resources were unlimited, he’d hire a full time marketing and nutrition education professional. He can’t stop imagining how cool that would be.

KC members are encouraged to post comments, research articles, items of pertinence, and maybe just a really good recipe on the KC blog. Members who do not have posting permissions should contact Joe ( who will put in a fix for ya’ll. Also, KC’rs should feel free to add an addendum/amendment or two at any time to the posted minutes. Secretary pro-tem Steve’s memory isn’t much better than his note-taking so feel free to fill in the gaps.

Until we meet again: Steve


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