Magazine article University Business

Yale Gets Fresh

Magazine article University Business

Yale Gets Fresh

Article excerpt

Last fall, with the support of its student body, Yale University (CT) launched its Sustainable Food Project, and brought a fresh, natural food focus to the Berkeley Dining Room, one of the school's 12 residential dining facilities.

"From the start, we wanted to bring good-tasting, healthy food to the students," says Ernst Huff, Associate VP for Student Financial and Administrative Services, "but this initiative was driven by the students; they had the clear vision."

Still, making it happen was no small task. Serving 400 students per meal with sustainable food is a logistical challenge. So far, Yale administrators and ARAMARK Dining Services have renegotiated contracts and quality specs with existing food vendors, partnered with local organic and conventional farmers, and retrained dining staff about fresh-food handling, preparation and presentation.

"We are very demanding," says Melina Shannon-DiPietro, the Associate Director of the Project. "For example, we asked them to avoid sourcing produce in California; there are eco-costs in transporting food and we also want to support local businesses. …

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