One year ago today, the Harvard community joined with President Faust in making a significant commitment to reduce Harvard’s greenhouse gas emissions – 30% by 2016. This commitment is a core value for HUDS. We are committed to purchasing and operational practices and menu choices that sustain the health and well-being of the environment, communities, and the people producing and eating food.
To that end we spend approximately 25% of our food budget on local ingredients (when their quality and cost is comparable to other sources). We recycle and compost, and encourage people to reduce their tray waste. We seek operational efficiencies, such as exhaust hood controls that cut electricity usage for that appliance by half, and save thousands of dollars. And we encourage our staff and our dining guests to engage in the community effort to become more sustainable, whether it be through a “lights-off” campaign in the storeroom or re-usable mug program for beverages to go.
Tonight’s dinner in all the residential dining halls (including Dudley Café and Cronkhite Dining Room) is one such engagement effort. At the Sustainable Dinner you’ll enjoy foods that are grown or sourced locally, managed responsibly with regard to the environment, and require less natural resources to grow. See a map of our food sources here.
This week you might also have enjoyed a smaller taste of this in the retail locations, where we have a Make Mine Local lunch special of homemade soup, a crusty roll, an apple and milk. Today’s pumpkin gingered soup, for example, is not to be missed.
And next week, we’ll have two guests to share their point of view on sustainable food. Dr. Eric Chivian ‘64 (Lowell), MD ‘68, founder and Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, will be at Lowell House on Oct 26 for dinner to discuss his Pairidaeza Farm, an almost fully organic orchard in central Massachusetts growing heirloom apples, peaches, pears, apricots, plums, cherries, and grapes.
Cookbook author and chef Mollie Katzen will visit several points on campus through the week to share how many countries and cultures feature “Protein as a Condiment”, moving meat from the center of the plate to a complementing role for vegetables, fruits, beans and grains, which has both nutritional and environmental benefits. Follow us on Twitter to track Mollie’s talks.
The past year has been one of remarkable change and transformation, but one thing is certain: we remain committed to this vital goal of reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and look forward to engaging with you in the day-by-day working of making Green the new Crimson.