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Bruna Padularosa

Bruna Padularosa creates delicious and nutritious menu items at the Burnaby campus.

Food with thought

April 2, 2009

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SFU is Canada’s first university to receive the Seafood Wise designation, thanks to Chartwells, the university’s food provider and the largest food services company in the world. The designation requires food suppliers to remove one non-sustainable food item from the menu each year or add a new sustainable product.

Richard Brown, director of dining services and a member of SFU’s sustainability advisory committee, began introducing sustainable choices and changes to the menu and campus operations three years ago. The first change was a switch from cod to wild salmon, a more friendly and sustainable option.

"I’m extremely proud of this designation," says Brown, "It is evident that we need to make more sustainable choices and buy the best possible products available."

Now Chartwells is purchasing locally grown and/or organic products whenever possible. It is phasing out styrofoam products and using paper products and compostable clear plastic glasses and cutlery. New coffee cups and sleeves are made of post-consumer products and are either recyclable or compostable. At the residence dining hall, students can have meals put in plastic re-usable containers. Last year a four-per-cent price increase compensated for the costs to switch to environmentally friendly products.

There has been a ripple effect: Chartwells’ head office has a department of sustainability and plans to monitor waste in all campus locations. As well, decreasing the number of suppliers from four to one translates into fewer delivery trucks on campus roads. Chartwells also plans to operate a new, larger on-site storage facility that will reduce supplier delivery frequency from six to four times per week. More: www.dineoncampus.ca/sfu

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