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In addition to being a nationally award-winning dining institution, Concordia’s Dining Services is leading the way in sustainability and setting new standards for the industry as a whole. It is a two-year nominee and recipient of the prestigious Ivy Award, given to only six recipients by the Restaurants and Institutions Magazine for setting new standards in the food industry.
Anderson Commons Dining Center is a trayless facility. This efficient move saves the campus 200,000 gallons of water each year and eliminates 150 pounds of wasted food each day. Overall, food waste is reduced by 26 percent.
Dining Services strives to be as creative as possible in sustainability, from little changes like switching from plastic to permanent salt and pepper shakers that can be reused, to sweeping changes like having all potatoes (13,650 per year) and pasta come from local vendors, while continuing research into expanding local and organic food.
Every aspect of Dining Services strives to be sustainable—from using energy efficient ventilation systems in the kitchen to using chemical-free cleaners on the floor—it is truly a leader in both the campus and college dining programs everywhere.
In April of 2010, Concordia broke ground on its first student-led organic garden. The garden is on the corner of 11th Street South and 12th Avenue South near Jake Christiansen Stadium and provides a diverse selection of vegetables and herbs for Concordia Dining Services, Concordia Farmers' Markets and the community at large. It serves as a model for urban gardening projects, providing education for both Concordia students and the community—including elementary students, who may be able to pick vegetables from the garden and make pizza or tacos with them in the kitchen.
The mission of the garden is to educate the community about food production that is healthy, environmentally sustainable, and practical in a manner that encourages active engagement to lessen our global footprint.
A senior capstone course, taught by Gretchen Harvey of the history department, accompanies the garden allowing students to have an integral part in the maintenance, planning and educational aspects. The garden currently employs two interns, Maddie Hyde and John Stelter, who are tending to the garden along with planning and organizing the campus Farmers' Markets.
The garden is a result of the combined effort of the Food Working Group and the Student Environment Alliance. In the long term, both groups hope to implement more gardens, making the first garden a stepping-stone for increased food sustainability at Concordia.
During the past two summers, Concordia hosted several Farmers' Markets on campus. These markets featured organic and local foods and products from members of the Fargo/Moorhead area and surrounding communities. Products featured included beef, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, hot peppers, leeks, honey, sweet corn, peanut butter, and candles. Each successive Farmers Market brought more farmers, more students, and more food!
The Farmers' Markets at Concordia have proven to be very popular with faculty, staff, the community, and especially with students. Please check back soon for more information on the status of Farmers' Markets for 2013. The dates of the market for 2013 are yet to be determined.
The 100-mile Thanksgiving Dinner is a popular annual event in which local and seasonal sustainable foods are the focus of this delicious traditional meal. The 100-mile Thanksgiving Dinner will he held on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013. Check back later for more detailed information on this year's event.