HUNTINGTON - Marshall Dining Services and the Marshall University Office of Sustainability are partnering on some new projects for the upcoming school year, including an herb and microgreen cabinet, as well as a food waste recovery program and a student-run composting program using dining food waste.
“It is Marshall Dining’s goal to constantly improve the sustainability within our food programs,” said Ryan Zipperian, marketing manager for dining services. “Our role is to present these strategies to the students and show how they benefit not just Marshall University, but the entire planet. ... While knowledge of food and nutrition is a top priority, the way in which we handle food waste and encourage the use of local, sustainable products in our operation is key.”
Marshall Dining will use herbs from the new microgreen cabinet for its dishes, and students and Marshall employees can see the cabinet on display in Harless Dining Hall. Sodexo purchased and will operate the microgreen cabinet, for which the Sustainability office provided the seeds.
“These greens are very nutrient dense and are delicious in salads and on sandwiches. They will be a wonderful addition to the kitchens,” said Amy Parsons-White, Marshall’s Sustainability Coordinator.
“Once the greens are started, they take very little effort to keep going, and the cabinet allows the students to see fresh food growing in the kitchens.”
The Sustainability Department also is working to get composting started on campus.
“Currently we are working with a local farmer who takes all of our organic waste from the kitchen and will start taking it from the cafeterias this fall,” Parsons-White said.
“We will have compost containers in the cafeterias for students to place their uneaten food and paper napkins in, along with recycling containers for plastic bottles.
“This will benefit Marshall’s campus by reducing the amount of waste generated by our cafeterias by 60 percent. It will also help a local farmer make compost for his farm, so not only is it helping us, but also giving back to the community.”
A new food recovery program is still in the works, Parsons-White said.
“I’ve been speaking with several student organizations to see if we can get volunteers to deliver uneaten food from the cafeterias to local shelters and food banks to further reduce the amount of waste in the kitchens and give to the community,” she said. “I am excited about starting both of these programs through the sustainability department; I think it will help to build a bridge between Marshall’s campus and the greater Huntington area.”