Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Season's Eatings!": Food and Fund Drive Begins Today!

Holiday flair is in the air! As we approach the Thanksgiving and winter holiday season, we often daydream of bountiful meals with family and friends, good tidings and cheer. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and all the fixings shared with those nearest and dearest to us! However, many families living in the Southern Tier go day-to-day wondering when their next meal will be, let alone such a feast for the eyes. In a world where a meal is not guaranteed, the holiday season for many communities is a little less cheerful.

As we grow closer to Thanksgiving and Winter Break, you might be clearing your dorm rooms and pantries of extra foods that will go to waste while you're home on break. Instead of throwing out all of that perfectly good food, hat if we could divert all of that wasted food to those in need in our local community? Together, we can help fight hunger and waste this holiday season!

Today marks the beginning of our “Season’s Eatings!” Food and Fund Drive. From now until December 17th, IC Dining Services in partnership with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier will be collecting canned and non-perishable food items. Donation bins will be located at IC Square, the Business School Café, Sub Connection, and Terrace Dining Hall. Look our for our "Season's Eatings!" poster and a bin marked with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier's logo.

We are looking for the following donations this holiday season:

  • Canned foods such as soup, fruits, and vegetable
  • Canned tuna/chicken
  • Boxed grains (rice, pasta, cornmeal, oatmeal, cereal)
  • Apple sauce, fruit cups, and fruit cocktail
  • Nut products (peanut butter, trail mix, granola)
  • Shelf-stable dairy (milk, pudding)
  • Healthy drinks such as bottled water and fruit juice

For food safety reasons, we kindly ask that you do not drop off fresh produce or homemade goods! 

Join us on December 3rd, 8th, and 10th  from  11:30 – 2:30PM in IC Square to learn more about the Food Bank and Dining Service’s dedication to promoting food sustainability and feeding our neighbors in need. You may also have a chance to enter our drawing for a Fitbit, so join us in supporting our mission for a more sustainable, food-secure future.

Season's Eatings!, 
Marissa and Zack

Monday, October 19, 2015

WasteLESS Week 2015 Kickoff

WasteLESS Week 2015 Kickoff Blog

WasteLESS Week is a five-day campaign run by Sodexo and Ithaca Dining services to promote waste reduction and helping to protect our planet’s natural resources. We all have the power to reduce our environmental footprint and protect life on Earth for years to come!
WasteLESS Week will be filled with fun, engaging activities throughout the week.

Tuesday will be our Bring a Bag Giveaway. Come to any of the three Grab-and-Go locations and receive a FREE reusable lunch bag while supplies last. Paper waste is a considerable portion of what we throw out and even though much of it gets recycled, even more ends up in landfills. The United States uses about 30% of the world’s paper supply, with every American using about 749 pounds of it per year. That’s about 4 billion trees! So we must make every effort to cut back on our paper consumption even if it’s just starting with one paper bag a day. By using your reusable lunch bag you can help reduce paper waste and save the trees that produce the air we need to breath.

Come to Terrace Dining Hall on Wednesday from 5-7pm for our Taste It, Don’t Waste It event. Eating everything that you take is an important thing to do, so make sure you like it before you take a plate full. With 795 million people on the planet that don’t have enough food to lead healthy and active lives, every little bit counts. When we consume less food, there can be more to go around in the places that need it most. During our Taste It, Don’t Waste It, we encourage you to sample dishes before you take them to make sure you’re not getting a serving of something you don’t like. Not only does this reduce food waste, but it also helps us to be more conscious about how much food we take.

Thursday marks the long awaited Hydroponics Grand Opening. Come to Terrace Dining Hall between 5-7pm to see the new hydroponics setup, with the dedicated team who created and maintain the system there to explain how it all works. One key part to being sustainable is reducing greenhouse gas emissions and a large source of those harmful gasses is the transportation sector. By growing some of the ingredients that we use in the dining hall, we eliminate the need for transport and reduce our carbon footprint. Come to Terrace Dining Hall on Thursday to get a taste of our fresh hydroponically grown herbs.  

Friday’s the big day with our event that started it all, Weigh the Waste! Come to dinner from 5-7pm at Terrace Dining Hall to take part in the movement. Tables will be set up collecting and weighing the uneaten food that gets left on plates. Using our LeanPath tool, we will record how much waste is collected in order to help us set goals to reduce waste. It might not seem like a big deal, but the food you leave on your plate ads up quick. In the U.S., between 30-40% of food gets thrown away, which ads up to about 20 pounds per person each month! An information center will be set up at our Weigh the Waste event with food waste facts and tips for reducing your food waste. Help us make a difference by reducing our food waste at IC and educate yourself about easy ways to be more sustainable.

Join us at any of our events to fight the battle against food waste. Together, we can make responsible choices for our planet. ‘Like’ us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram to tell us how you waste LESS!

-Marissa and Zack
Sustainability Interns 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tastes Like Chicken, But It Isn’t

Its Meatless Monday once again and as I walk across campus, smells of fried chicken and burgers waft into my nose reminding me of past years when I did eat meat. As my mouth begins to water, as I’m sure yours is too, I remind myself that there are healthy and more sustainable alternatives for meat that often taste just as good if not better. So just what are these tasty substitutes for your classic carnivorous dishes?
The first thing that I’m sure comes first to everyone’s mind is soy. Now I’m not just talking about the little bean itself, but rather the infinite number of ways that you can turn it into a delicious, next level entre that can serve as the perfect replacement for chicken, beef, pork, or fish.
            Top of the list is tofu. When I think of all the things you can do with Tofu, I am reminded of Forest Gump’s best friend Bubba Blue, and how he rattled off the endless list of things one could do with shrimp. But now it’s Tofu. So here’s just a few for you:
·      Baked Tofu
·      BBQ Tofu
·      Braised Tofu
·      Broiled Tofu
·      Fried Tofu
·      Scrambled Tofu
·      Stir Fry Tofu
·      Tofu Cake
·      Tofu Loaf
·      Tofu Pudding
·      Tofu Smoothies
·      Tofu Soup…  and the list goes on.

Tofu is one of those magical substances that takes the flavor of whatever you cook or season it with, so it’s hard to go wrong. Just think of your old favorite meat dish and then just replace the main ingredient with tofu and with a little luck and the right spices you’ll never know the difference. And on the off chance that you’ve somehow run out of things to do with tofu, try Tempeh, Seitan, or TVP(Textured Vegetable Protein). Also, a couple of my favorite soy-based veggie-burgers that you may want to check out are Boca Burgers (especially the chicken and spicy chicken) and Organic Sunshine Burgers.

 If you don’t like soy or might be allergic to it, there are lots of other good vegetable substitutes that taste great. Mushrooms definitely top the list. Many people, including myself, cringe at the thought of mushrooms, but with the right spices and proper cooking technique you’ll never know your eating fungus. Try pan sautéing them with a little olive oil and your choice of seasonings or marinate and toss them on the grill to create a delectable mushroom burger. A few more vegetable alternatives that you can cook up similar to mushrooms include Jack Fruit, potatoes, lentils, eggplant, beats, and almost any type of beans. And don’t forget, the key to a good Meatless Monday is making sure to get your full daily recommended nutrition intake, especially protein!


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Check out our Meatless Monday Specials: https://ithaca.sodexomyway.com/dining-choices/resdining/index.html 
Take the Meatless Monday Pledge
Sources: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/vegetables-that-can-substitute-for-meat/