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

Managing Your Business
wage feud business

As plans to increase the minimum wage surge ahead in states such as New York and California, operators eventually will feel the reverberations shake up labor costs for more than just hourly workers. As associate wages gain on manager salaries, operators will have to answer a call for reciprocal increases. FSD spoke with operators who advised going gently into the brave new world of heightened labor costs, investing in talent and making cuts elsewhere; however, they did offer three perfectly proactive tactics to make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Keep talking

Even though...

Menu Development
craft beer flight
A draw for happy hour...

San Francisco restaurateur Charles Phan plans to serve beer and wine, and depending on liquor licensing, perhaps cocktails as well. “For faculty and staff on campus, it will be a really wonderful place to come to and have a glass of wine,” Wolch says. “Right now, we have The Faculty Club bar, which is a very historic spot, but this is going to be much more contemporary.”

And for morning coffee...

Phan’s plan for made-to-order coffee is bound to be a boon for both faculty and students. “We’ll have a brand-new espresso machine,” Phan says. Wolch adds, “Most...

Managing Your Business
wurster west may 2016

At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

With little more than a steam table and coolers, Ramona’s was limited by its lack of ventilation. And, as a former classroom space, it never was intended to function for foodservice, says Jennifer Wolch...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken herbs

We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

FSD Resources