Hospital’s Bee-utiful Sustainability Plan

Published in Healthcare Spotlight

The Valley Hospital, in Ridgewood, N.J., has a potentially sweet approach to using locally produced foods. The hospital has installed two colonies of bees on the roof of the healthcare system’s Lucklow pavilion in nearby Paramus. “The hospital is trying to be as green as possible and this fits in with our goals for sustainability,” says Dawn Cascio, director of food and nutrition services for the hospital.

The bees are expected to produce about 100 pounds of honey by the end of the season, of which 30 pounds will be harvested. The rest will be left for the bees to feed on during the winter. Much of the harvest will be used in patient foodservice, with the rest being packaged and sold in the hospital gift shop. Executive Chef Joseph Graziano expects to use the honey as an ingredient in a variety of applications, from salad dressings to barbecue sauces.

Cascio explains that the first step is to allow the bees to establish the colony. The bees are being fed sugar water, which they use to create the beeswax that supports the hive. Then the bees will be able to fly out in search of plants from which they can extract nectar. Where the bees forage will determine the flavor of the honey, Cascio adds.

In addition to supplying the hospital with honey, the project may serve another purpose: to help repopulate the species. Since 2006, bees have been dying off in large numbers. Cascio says the approximately 1,000 bees that started this colony could grow to 60,000 strong by summer’s end.  

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
WinCup foam food containers

From WinCup.

Cost control.

Two little words that are essential to every foodservice director’s day-to-day activities.

Keeping costs in check is paramount in running a functioning food operation, of course. But the ripples of cost control can extend beyond your bottom line. And savvy directors must balance customer satisfaction on the P&L sheet.

Fiscal Responsibility

The foundation of cost control is accepting fiscal responsibility, which requires a solid understanding of foodservice accounting. Prime cost, the combined cost of food and labor, is an...

Industry News & Opinion

Orange County Community College in upstate New York is replacing its dining staff with vending machines , The Times Herald-Record reports.

The staff members, who will be let go in June, include nine full-time and three part-time workers. Students say they will miss the employees and the access to fresh food.

The Orange County Community College Association, which oversees the school’s cafeterias, says the layoffs were partly due to a $150,000 deficit accumulated by foodservice operations last year.

Read the full story via The Times Herald-Record .

Industry News & Opinion

Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, is eliminating paper cups in its Commons dining hall and has given each student a reusable stainless steel mug as a replacement, bates.edu reports.

The mugs were distributed via a promotion earlier this week where students could fill their new mugs with a free smoothie. Stickers and other trinkets were set out for students to use to “bling” their mugs.

Dining services turned to students to determine which type of mug would be offered. The college also installed a mug-washing sink in the dining Commons earlier this year.

Read the...

Industry News & Opinion

Compass has partnered with Jose Andres ’ ThinkFoodGroup, allowing the chef and foodservice vendor to collaborate at such venues as stadiums and college campuses.

“With this partnership, we have the opportunity to tell stories and connect with people through food on an entirely new level,” Andres said in a release.

The three-year team-up comes shortly after Andres opened a ThinkFoodLab pop-up in Washington, D.C., which will serve as a recipe R&D space for his restaurant group.

ThinkFoodGroup was this year named a Power 20 multiconcept operator by Restaurant...

FSD Resources