At Mount Allison we procure 40 per cent of our food from farmers, fishers, and producers in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Our definition of local food is a five-hour circle around Sackville, known to us as the Maritime Diet.
Cheese, milk, and other dairy products, vegetables, apples, fish including mussels, chicken, some beef and pork, and other food items come to us from Borden, the Annapolis Valley, Summerside, Memramcook, Baie Verte, Oxford, Clark's Harbour and many other towns within a five-hour drive. Our potatoes are purchased fresh from a farm just down the road and prepared in our kitchen for use in fresh cut fried potatoes and other dishes.
Clean plate and composting program
Reduction of food waste is an important component of Dining Services. Staff weigh pre-consumer prep food waste (like skins, peels, stems, etc.) and any leftover food to eliminate as much waste as possible in the kitchen.
Students, staff, faculty, conference guests, and visitors dining in Jennings scrape and sort their plates, cups, and cutlery just like at home. When the scraping station was implemented in 2007 we experienced a 44 per cent drop in food waste! All food waste (including napkins) is first pulped and then fed to “Dirt” and “Ernie” our two large Big Hanna in-vessel composting units. The 20,000 kilograms of finished compost is used on campus gardens.
Two new commercial urban cultivators have been installed in Jennings Hall. Fresh herbs and small greens are now part of the menu. Fresh basil, dill, pea shoots, parsley, arugula, cilantro, lettuce, and beet tops are grown for toppings for various dining stations. Even freshly grown wheatgrass appears for wheatgrass/apple shots now and then!
Reducing our kitchen carbon footprint
We take every opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint. Food is purchased in bulk with as little packaging as possible. Kitchen equipment is efficiently powered by steam and natural gas. Our wood-fired pizza oven is heated with locally cut maple and birch.
Lighting is LED with further savings from daylight harvesting in the main dining area. Our newly installed dishwasher saves 50 per cent on usage of water. Napkins are 100 per cent recycled content and green seal products are used for cleaning. Containers are sorted and recycled. Fryer oil is recycled.
Fair trade coffee
Three brands of fair trade coffee, including the locally roasted Just Us!, are served on campus in Jennings and at the Flying Bean Café and Gracie's Café.