A new wave of culinary programs aims to change the food system by telling a story of sustainability through food. Check out these five programs that are teaching students how to cook for the environment:
1) Cascade Culinary Institute at Central Oregon Community College: The Cascade Culinary Institute is affiliated with the Environmental Center and Central Oregon Community College in Bend, Oregon. The school offers a certificate in Sustainable Food Systems for Culinary Arts featuring classes on sustainable food production systems, harvesting and preservation principles, and farm to table sustainable cuisine practices. The Jungers Culinary Center boasts Earth Advantage Gold standards of low-waste, local sourcing, and reuse of fryer oil for bio-diesel, demonstrating their devotion to truly sustainable practices.
2) Vermont’s Table at Sterling College: Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, Vermont offers an intensive summer program in sustainable food systems. The program’s key course provides hands-on experience in the production of value-added products such as cultured dairy, soy products, and spreads. Other classes focus on food writing, food entrepreneurism, and food systems. Vermont’s Table provides a valuable overview of the key issues in today’s food climate.
3) Seattle Culinary Academy at Seattle Central Community College: The Seattle Culinary Academy at Seattle Central Community College is one of the oldest culinary programs in the country. Certificates and degrees are available in both Culinary Arts and Specialty Desserts and Bread, with each program focusing on sustainable practices through the use of the campus greenhouse. The Seattle Culinary Academy strives to instill a sense of environmentalism in its students, ensuring that each student finishes the program as, “a food systems gatekeeper who understand sustainable principles and practices and how [his or her] choices impact the environment around [them].”
4) Kendall College School of Culinary Arts: Kendall College in Chicago presents a Culinary Arts program rooted in green initiatives. The curriculum covers topics such as recycling, composting, energy conservation, and local crops. The school also manages its own sustainable garden to act as alternative classroom for students, as well as meet the needs of the school’s restaurants. Kendall College has produced an educational video on sustainability, and regularly conducts educational sessions for leading food service associations.
5) Bachelor of Arts Specializations in Sustainability at New England Culinary Institute: New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont offers a Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts or Hospitality and Restaurant Management, with a focus on sustainability awareness. Students in the Culinary Arts program learn how to combat food insecurity, source local foods, and practice environmentally conscious habits in order to successful run a small business. Hospitality and Restaurant Management students focus on environmentally sound practices for hotels and large-scale hospitality, also emphasizing the importance of locally-sourced foods.