Students Experience, Enjoy “Green Cuisine”

Article from Inspiration Lab


Sidwell Friends has been committed to cleaner and greener food since 2004; its “Green Cuisine” program now incorporates, wherever possible, ingredients and practices that are truly sustainable.


Teaching “food intelligence” is an important factor. The menu planning, preparation methods, ingredients, and dishes make everyone on campus more mindful. “Meatless Menus” emphasize that eating less meat is better for our health and environment, reducing factory farming, water contamination, land degradation, and greenhouse gases. Using local, seasonal ingredients maximizes freshness and minimizes the distance food is transported, thus saving energy, reducing pollution, and supporting local farmers and merchants.


Mealtimes are also opportunities for students to discover where the food on their menu originates and what it does for their bodies; they learn to avoid waste by taking only the amount of food they’ll actually eat, a practice that contributes to a more affordable dining program. On a daily basis the school ships its compost to local farms, which includes Sandy Spring Friends School’s farm.


When everything comes together in the cafeteria, the results are impressive, and include a main entrée hot bar with a vegetarian option; nutrient-rich dark green leafy vegetables seasoned only with fresh herbs—some from the Lower or Middle School rooftop gardens—and fresh salad, sandwich, fruit, and yogurt options. There are no processed foods, added MSG, trans fats, fried foods, added-sugar sweets, high-mercury fish, high-fat ingredients and recipes, or non-seasonal imported foods.


Each food-related goal is reflected in the menu and experienced in the food served. Students are now more open to new foods and tastes, a testament to the success of “Green Cuisine.”


For more detailed information on the program visit this link.

HopeTree Family Services to celebrate 125th anniversary in 2015

Submitted by Hayley Reed


The Salem-Roanoke County Chamber of Commerce held a Wake Up To Business breakfast event from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 17, at HopeTree Family Services in Salem.

Members of the community and the chamber joined HopeTree President and Executive Director Stephen Richerson for a video presentation, networking and delicious food catered by HopeTree’s dining services.

HopeTree also announced that it will be celebrating its 125th anniversary of providing care for at-risk children and youth, as well as adults with developmental disabilities, in 2015.

The Salem-Roanoke County Chamber would like to thank HopeTree for their membership and support.







Source: The Roanoke Times

Sidwell Friends School in Huffpost Taste


by Eric Mathes, The Daily Meal


“If you’ve got the two First Daughters enrolled at your academy, you’d better be sure the lunch is luxurious. And that’s exactly how it is at Sidwell. Cuisines you’d never dream of show up on the menu here, such as an entire lunch of Brazilian delicacies like feijoada, caldo verde soup, all-natural chicken with coconut milk, and mango and pineapple with lime and mint. There’s a soup every day, like borscht, creamy spinach soup or Tuscan white bean, and creative dishes like the Creole caprese salad or hot and sour Cajun gumbo served on “Fat Tuesday.”” 



Admit it: When you were a whippersnapper paying your dues in your local school system, you probably tried to avoid the mystery meat of the day the way a vegan avoids eating animals. With few exceptions — namely extra-crispy pepperoni pizza (round or rectangle; they both met the minimum edibility requirements, if “edibility” is, in fact, a word), cookies, copious quantities of chocolate milk, and the ultimate juggernaut of taste when it came to cafeteria food: glorious, golden-baked Jamaican beef patties — it was simply too high a social risk to consume the majority of mysterious conglomerations that “lunch ladies” ladled onto those flimsy, Styrofoam trays.

To a teenager who used about a quarter-cup of hair gel every morning to form perfect scalp stalagmites, the choice between starving oneself at lunch and then having to run two miles during eighth-period gym class on an empty stomach versus the unknown possibilities that could ensue from scarfing some of Ethel and Gertrude’s “secret-recipe” chili was as clear as vodka.

Thank goodness somebody realized how backwards it was to serve such unappealing, nutritionally lacking lunches. In the past decade, enormous changes have been made nationwide in the ways learning institutions feed our offspring. Initiatives have been undertaken where schools have students manage organic gardens on premises and take field trips to local farms to learn where their lunch originates and how it grows. Budgets have been utilized more thoughtfully and efficiently, investing in these same farms to supply students with the freshest ingredients and an abundance of healthy choices, and in other creative, culinary-geared ways.

Some of the public schools (and, in some cases, entire districts) that made this list earned their place by overhauling pre-existing systems that were clearly in need of a makeover; others were added because their private school status afforded them the luxury of an on-staff celebrity chef (I’m not kidding, people). Most of these schools integrate nutrition, food history, and business and economic principles — like supply and demand and supply-chains — into curriculum by way of their culinary programs, some going as far as to bring esoteric teachings like bee-keeping into the mix. And our top school on the list had better have gourmet fare in its cafeteria — it’s where the POTUS’s daughters attend.

Schools like The Calhoun School in Manhattan, New York, have a French culinary chef weighing-in on the menu design, and ten-day menus are even submitted a week in advance. Others like the high schools in Burlington, Vermont, source a third of all their ingredients for the lunches locally and add bonus fruits and vegetables, and unlimited milk to meals for hungry students.

Source: Huffpost Taste

Guilford College in YES Weekly


By Eric Ginsburg


As far as David Petree knows, Guilford College is one of the only colleges or universities — hell, one of the only institutions — that keeps nearly all food waste out of a landfill. Petree, the director of environmental sustainability at the college, said that about half of the food waste generated in the cafeteria is composted while the rest goes into a Food Waste Digester machine that he referred to as a “stainless-steel, kitchen-grade stomach.”

The machine, which can break down up to 600 pounds of food in a day, is leased from Waste Industries and relies on organisms to break the stuff down. The discharge is piped into the school’s grease trap and actually improves grease build up, flies and odors.

Even for a small college like Guilford that trumpets environmental stewardship and specifically focuses on food-waste reduction by removing trays — like Greensboro College and others — and educating students, it still created almost 17,000 pounds of food waste last year, and Petree noted that despite common beliefs, that food wouldn’t actually rot in a landfill if the school still sent it there.

The composted food waste and leaf mold — made from fallen leaves across campus — are used for landscaping around the college, allowing Guilford to be almost petroleum-fertilizer free.

And then there’s the farm. It’s been about three years since Guilford opened a campus farm, and it’s not only sustainable environmentally, but financially, Petree said. Roughly half of the food grown on a two-acre plot goes to the school’s cafeteria, with the rest sold to upscale local restaurants like Josephine’s and Lucky 32; Bestway and Deep Roots Market stores; at farmers’ markets at Guilford and in the Sticks & Stones parking lot; and through CSA shares.

There’s a laundry list of other initiatives — an energy audit that led to upgraded lighting, improved insulation and high-efficiency windows; a 62-panel solar-thermal array assisting with hot-water needs; low-volume showerheads, motion sensors that turn of lights — but Petree said one of the most important components is getting in front of incoming students.

“If there’s going to be a meaningful movement in this country for sustainability, it’s almost got to start at colleges and universities, and with young people,” he said.

That’s one of the reasons that his office presents to all incoming students about sustainability and provides them with ways to participate in the college’s efforts. It’s also one of the reasons that a new first-year class is so essential.

Guilford College recently started offering the Cape Fear River Basin Studies Program, an interdisciplinary course underscoring the importance of water and environmental stewardship. Students canoe in the river, learn to surf in the ocean and study the ways their actions impact the habitat they rely on. By combining an “embodied experience” where students actually engage with water instead of simply studying it, professor Maia Dery said the class stresses that students already live in the “real world” and helps them cross a common mind/body split that may be at the root of many environmental problems.

“The river basin and rivers and the ocean are the perfect metaphor for a college student,” Dery said, adding that the class helps students think about how their decisions affect things downstream literally as well as in their own futures. “You’re going to flush that toilet each day no matter how much you pay in tuition. No one can take a vacation from that reality. You can only take time off from being mindful of that reality.”

Source: YES Weekly