All things environmental

Musings about the environment and all it touches, from education to city planning

The farm to cafeteria connection

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One of my fantasy projects for my employer (Kwantlen Polytechnic University, if you must know) is to somehow create programs that would close the ecological circle.  We already have great horticulture and agriculture programs, and in my own program (Environmental Protection) we study compost and waste management, among other things.  Wouldn’t it be great to also have a food preparation program, and a holistic nutrition program to go along with our nursing and health science programs?

Just imagine: our students grow the food; other students prepare it and serve it in our cafeterias; finally, our envi students compost the leftovers and make fertilizer – for our food growing program.  And wouldn’t we all eat well, with a food prep program, using our own tasty healthy local food?

It may be a fantasy but I was thrilled to discover the existence of the Farm to Cafeteria Canada group.  They publish a newsletter, and their facebook page is a mine of information.  For instance, I learned that Toronto’s Ryerson University signed a new contract with Chartwell’s, which includes a requirement for 25% of the food originating from local, sustainable sources; and according to a comment on a post, they snagged chef Maharaj, famous for her work in Toronto transforming hospital food into something actually tasty and wholesome.

I also found out about the existence of the Kootenay farm school, where beginning lessons in sustainable agriculture can be taken (similar in intent to our own Richmond Farm School, it seems), attend worshops in permaculture, or participate in a webinar with Joel Salutin.

I also found a petition to save Salt Spring Island abattoir, discovered an inspiring blog about high school students growing their own food in Toronto, and learned about the existence of a student food summit this coming August.  All great stuff!  If the intersection of food and education interests you, check them out.

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Written by enviropaul

August 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm

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