Pre-consumer organics collection
In 2016 the cafeteria and cafe introduced organic collections bins for pre-consumer organics. This allowed for the diversion of products such as vegetable scraps, paper napkins and compostable cutlery and dishes. These bins weren't just for students either - the staff in the cafeteria took up the challenge to divert as much waste as possible by utilizing the organics bin.
The Augustana Cafeteria offers at least one Local Lunch per month, where all the food served at the meal is sourced locally. These delicious meals are offered at the same price as regular Augustana Cafeteria lunches. You won't want to miss out on the next Local Lunch.
The Cafeteria also regularly sources a portion of our food from local sources - reducing the carbon footprint necessary to transport food to campus. These items are:
- Eggs - Morinville Colony
- Meats (chicken, beef, pork)
- Mushrooms - Prairie Mushrooms, Sherwood Park
- Rolled oat cereal
- Bean sprouts - Yatsun Food, Edmonton
- Canada Tea's - Vitalyteas, Edmotnon
Going "Tray-less" in the cafeteria has allowed Augustana to:
- Saves ½ a gallon of water for every tray that does not have to be cleaned. That’s a lot of water!
- Reduces the amount of chemical cleaning agents needed, thus there are less chemicals going down the drain. And,
- Reduces the amount of waste produced by approximately 30%. In the past, trays were often loaded with far more delicious food than the average person would eat, ultimately producing a lot of waste. Without trays, people tend to take what they CAN eat. An effort that is undoubtedly effecting staff and student waistlines as well!
The Augustana cafeteria works to divert as much waste from the landfill as possible. Initiatives include:
- Introduction of pre-consumer compostable waste bins. Not only for students but kitchen staff as well.
- Oils from deep fryers are collected and sent to Edmonton for recycling.
Sustainable Food Policy
In serving food in its cafeteria, the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta is guided by the following commitments:
- To provide safe, fresh and nutritious food;
- To contribute to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of our home region and the planet, through balanced and responsible procurement decisions; and,
- To cultivate within our academic community both a critical awareness of food issues and a sense of celebration around food that is inclusive of the many cultural traditions represented among our students.
On Augustana’s residence-based Campus, the cafeteria plays a central and much-valued role in student life. It serves 300-400 meals three times a day, as well as extended snack times. Its skillful, conscientious food-services staff put quality ahead of convenience; meals are prepared on site, mostly from basic ingredients, rather than pre-cooked and pre-packaged.
In aspiring to be an institutional leader in developing sustainable food practices through its procurement decisions, Augustana balances a range of considerations. We are aware of the need to keep costs affordable for students. We are also aware, on one hand, of the advantages of our location in an agricultural region and, on the other, of the challenges presented by a northern climate and the existing food system. It is not possible to satisfy all basic nutritional needs – fruit, for example – from local and regional sources in all seasons. Our first priority is to provide safe, fresh and nutritious food. Our second priority is to support forms of food production and processing that sustain the environment, our regional rural economy and farm livelihoods. We understand that those priorities are not necessarily in conflict; often the second complements the first.
To the extent that it is practical, Augustana’s preference is (1) to purchase food that is produced within our home region (approximately a 200-km radius), before looking to provincial, national and global sources; and (2) to purchase from farmers and processors who are taking steps towards sustainability in the methods they employ. In general, farmers and processors will
- utilize best practices in the application of fertilizers, natural or synthetic, and pesticides;
- engage in water and soil conservation;
- protect and enhance wildlife habitat and biodiversity;
- provide safe and fair working conditions for on-farm labour;
- provide healthy and humane care for livestock; and,
- reduce energy consumption through recycling and minimum packaging.
Augustana is prepared to work with farmers and processors to develop their capacity, help overcome obstacles and provide stable, long-term markets.
Fair Trade Options
Augustana endeavors to provide students with Fair Trade and ethically sourced options. Students have access to a vairety of teas, coffee, and snacks that are certified Fair Trade.