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

Industry News & Opinion

In an effort to trim costs, the country’s largest senior living company laid off 100 staff members, including regional dining services directors, reports Senior Housing News .

Not all employees who were laid off will technically leave the company, Senior Housing News notes, as some will be reassigned to alternative positions. Brookdale recently posted third-quarter earnings that fell short of analysts’ expectations and that the company’s CEO called disappointing.

At the end of last year, the Brentwood, Tenn.-based company employed 53,000 workers on a full-time basis, and...

Industry News & Opinion

After receiving mixed feedback from parents, Randolph County School District in Asheboro, N.C., is inviting parents to tour the district’s kitchens and cafeterias to see how the food for school meals is made, Fox 8 reports.

School officials say that the tours, part of the district’s first Food Day for Parents, will give parents an inside look at the upkeep of the facilities, as well as enable them to sample some food and see how the district is upholding USDA guidelines.

Officials also hope that the tours will provide them with more guidance on what parents and students are...

Industry News & Opinion

After fielding complaints from parents and students, Sodexo is launching an initiative to improve dining services at Emerson College in Boston, the Berkeley Beacon reports.

The initiative will kick off this month with an event dubbed Fresh Start, marking the start of several moves aimed at improving service—including the hiring of a new executive chef, the addition of a second sous chef, and retraining current staff on food preparation and presentation.

Members of the Emerson community will also be able to share feedback through the introduction of monthly forums, as well...

Industry News & Opinion

The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

Read the full story...

FSD Resources