Current Mission for Food Service at Sterling College

Last Updated in 1994 (the formatting got really weird, sorry!)

Mission for Food Service at Sterling College

  1. Mission: Manage the Sterling food system as an integral part of our educational programs by demonstrating a “living what we teach” philosophy
    1. Develop the dining hall menu to make the best use of Sterling-grown, organically grown, and locally produced foods when available.
    2. Serve healthful, nutritious foods that are pleasing to diners and provide a comfortable dining environment.
    3. Choose, prepare, serve, and recycle food in an environmentally conscientious manner.
    4. Educate the students and other community members about the effects of their food choices on the environment and nutrition
    5. Run a cost-efficient operation
  2. ObjectivesDevelop the dining hall menu to make the best use of Sterling-grown and locally produced foods when available
  1. menu planning – plan menus by first looking at what Sterling grown foods are available.  Prepare Sterling-grown foods in a pleasing manner.

–         farm/kitchen liaison student worker position to aid in the use of Sterling grown foods

–         offer training opportunities to the kitchen staff in use of Sterling grown and other local, unprocessed foods.  The extension agency has programs that include “chef teaching chef.” Utilize such programs.  Provide recipes to the kitchen staff that include food items grown by Sterling.

  1. Promote pride in Sterling grown foods.  Highlight them at meals.  Label all Sterling-grown foods.
  2. Promote use of more locally and organically grown foods by having students do research projects that look into cost comparison, transport and availability of locally grown food in comparison to foods shipped by large food distributor.
  3. Buy as much organically-grown food as feasible.
  4. encourage students and staff to have input to what food is offered.
    1. serve healthful, nutritious foods that are pleasing to diners and provide a comfortable dining environment.

–         have monthly food committee meetings where specific ideas and needs can be presented and discussed.

–         Have kitchen manager serve as member of the food committee

–         Have students volunteer to be elected as members of the food committee

  1. Foster a feeling of affiliation between the kitchen staff and the college

–         post pictures of the kitchen staff in the beginning of the year.  Include name and whatever they would like to have written along with it.

–         Be sure to let the kitchen staff know that we appreciate their work and the special touches they add

–         Have kitchen employees’ salary and benefits be in line with those of other Sterling employees.

  1. Provide comfortable dining environment

–         keep tables painted

–         keep everything maintained and in good repair

  1. Follow preparation, serving, and storage practices that insure quality food and conserve nutrients

–         specific actions will be brought up at food committee meetings

–         provide in-service training for kitchen employees pertaining to this topic.

    1. Choose, prepare, serve, and recycle food in an environmentally conscientious manner. (Minimize and recycle kitchen waste and conserve energy both in the kitchen and in off-site preprocessing and transportation).
  1. choose food with least amount of packaging when possible.  Buy bulk foods when possible.
  2. Keep inventory low to reduce refrigerator and freezer needs.
  3. Use a minimal amount of pre-made foods that have a high water content to reduce use of energy in transportation of those items.
  4. Have students research the environmental impact (energy use in shipping, pesticide use, appropriate water use, etc.) of the use of local in comparison to standard sources of food
  5. Minimize advance preparation of hot foods to reduce energy needs to keep food warm
  6. Minimize the use of aluminum foil as it takes a lot of energy to produce it.
  7. Do not buy Styrofoam plates or cups.  Minimize use of paper plates.
  8. Reduce the amount of electrical appliances.

– when possible reduce the number of steam tables.

  1. Compost all compostable kitchen waste.  Get pigs and feed food waste to them if possible.
  2. Continue to use leftovers
  3. Continue to recycle as much of the packaging as possible.
  4. Label food by ingredients and nutritional content.
    1. Educate the students and other community members about the effects of their food choices on the environment and on nutrition

–         This could be a project for students of a nutrition class.  The information could be kept in a binder notebook and/or put out with the food item.

–         Work study students or students in a nutrition class could be responsible for putting the labels out at each meal.

  1. Integrate research on the environmental and nutritional effects of the choices that are made within the food system into classes like Humans in the Environment, Economics, Ag Tech, etc. (Involve as many classes as possible).
  2. Have a section on Sterling grown foods and energy use as part of the orientation to Sterling.
  3. Continue and expand Nutrition course offerings at Sterling. (Environment and physiological impact of food choices).
    1. Run a cost-efficient operation.  Decrease overall cost to Sterling.

– This is a strong pull in all the decisions that are made in the kitchen.  Cost efficiency and the other parts of the mission as concepts that can work together.



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