Meeting Minutes — October 19 Posted on October 19th, 2010 by

Present: Deborah Downs-Miers, Anna Drennen, Joe Lencioni, Jim Dontje, Kim Braun, Steve Kjellgren

Those present addressed the following agenda:

Meet new member –  Review Nobel from collective perspectives –  President Ohle’s announcement of a food/hunger learning and acting event in February –  Update from Christopher Hall –  What are the Greens up to? –  Big Hill Farm gets ready for winter –  Nutritional analysis of menu items and what do we do with ’em –  Items from the floor

Anna Drennen introduced herself to the group. She is married to a new faculty member and has a long passion for food, nutrition, public health, and all of the types of things we address as the Kitchen Cabinet.  Those present welcomed Anna and commented that her participation and experience and perspectives are important – as is her connection to to facets of the greater St. Peter community where her voice can share our practices and ideology with interested parties.

Perspectives from those present were unanimously positive in review of the Nobel Conference and surrounding activities.  Faculty hosts reported great rapport among Nobel Panelists and great interaction with student hosts.  Dining Service staff felt it met needs adequately however realizes large crowds and limited facilities are challenging and can be frustrating for guests.  Steve reported just one especially vocal dissatisfied customer out of perhaps 12,000+ student and guest meals served during the conference.  No doubt there were many more – but just the one made his opinions known.  Kim reported great satisfaction from the student conference attendee perspective and said she made many good contacts while stationed at the Big Hill Farm display located in Lund Forum.

Conversation about President Ohle’s announcement at the Conference opening concerning a food/hunger learning/service experience program taking place on campus in February.  All present felt this venue would be ideal for continued and strengthened dialogue about food/feeding/sustaining/assisting/anticipating nutritional needs and practices of global inhabitants.  Aha!!! Global Insight 2010-11: FOOD!  Barb Larson Taylor is leading this effort and Deborah and Steve both feel the Kitchen Cabinet can be a great resource for the effort.

Deborah gave a second-hand report about the Gluten Free meeting that took place in the Peer Assistants Office on Monday evening, October 11th.  A first year student of hers who has gluten challenges attended and was very appreciative, receptive, and felt very, very good about the meeting and the G-Free group and the college’s attention to nutritional needs in general.

Via e-mail, Susan Kranz reported for the Greens:  “The “walk-pool” down to the Community Center to watch Food Inc on Oct 7 was a success! Had about 2 dozen students walk with us, and even more were at the actual viewing.
– Looking to logistics of sending “Greenie Grams” though the PO’s that students can decorate at our tabling for our next event, which we will establish at this Thursday’s meeting
– Possible next event: Trash pick-up on campus? River clean-up? Pursuing compost or bio-fuel?

Kim gave a wrap-up for the Big Hill Farm.  Another very successful year in terms of produce and in terms of experience.  A cover crop of rye has been sown in areas and they are waiting for a large tiller to finish up some of the more difficult areas.  Many volunteers helped with winterizing the garden – including faculty and student members of the theater/dance department.  Thank you BIG HILL FARMERS!!

Jim mentioned interest and intent on a Spring 2011 Independent study course involving the Big Hill Farm – available as both full and 1/2 credit.  More information requests should be directed to him.  “Could this possibly lead to a sustainable gardening/farming/producing regular course?” Deborah wondered.  She and Jim will continue the discussion.

Steve reported on the Nutrient Analysis and Labeling efforts underway, led by George Elliott in cooperation with the Dining Service production staff.  He reports that this is a lengthy, complicated endeavor that could take multiple years to complete.  The Kitchen Cabinet will be a critical resource in determining how to use the analysis data to the greatest advantage of the college.  Stay tuned.

Joe suggested a video link to our web site with nutrition pertinent information or a walk through the MarketPlace, Kitchen, and Store Room with a current g-free student and George might be a powerful tool and a good resource for current and prospective students.  Steve indicated there was talk of something like this as a module of a larger Wellness Web Presence that was discussed in the Spring of 2010.  He will follow up with the Dean of Students Office but the KC agreed that the larger project should not inhibit a video effort of our own – especially if we can involve creative students and knowledgeable faculty and staff (Joe…George…Martin Lang?) — “Very exciting,” said Steve, “this is EXACTLY why the work of the Kitchen Cabinet is valued and critical!”

Wrap-up conversation involved how to best reach students with food/nutrition/ethics/why-should-I-care/ information about dining on campus and away from campus.  While student members of the KC have very important perspectives, they may be skewed a bit because they have inherent interest in the subject matter?  Can we pull some students in from ‘on the street’?  Deborah and Joe think they know a couple of students who might enjoy breakfast with us and tell us if/how much/what type of information of this sort is desirable and if so, which forms/media are most effective.

Next Meeting:  November 23, 2010 – 7:15am

Respectfully Submitted, Secretary pro-tem, Steve Kjellgren


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