Kennesaw State University Creates Sustainability Degree

Also, University of Missouri cuts food waste.

At Kennesaw State University, sustainability is more than an environmental awareness program. Now, it’s a degree program as well.

Kennesaw has become the first U.S. university to offer a bachelor of science degree in culinary sustainability and hospitality. The program will begin this fall, with a goal of 150 students registered for the first year.

Christian Hardigree, who was named director of the Institute of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality, says the program will focus on courses in farm-to-fork efforts, plant-based cuisine, energy saving and reducing food waste. The first two courses will be Introduction to Culinary Sustainability, and Hospitality and World Cuisines and Culture.

“It really is past time for such a program,” Hardigree says. “In the culinary and hospitality industries there is a lot of talk about sustainability on the plate, but we need to enhance education of sustainability beyond the plate.”

Kennesaw already has a vigorous sustainability program that includes hydroponic gardens—which even have a system that reclaims rainwater—a germination tank and an herb garden. Hardigree credited the work of Gary Coltek, director of Culinary and Hospitality Services, with inspiring the creation of the degree program.


The decrease in the amount of food waste Campus Dining Services at the University of Missouri, in Columbia, recorded during the past two years after eliminating trays from dining halls. The trayless initiative not only decreased food waste but also decreased water waste by 100,000 gallons per year, according to a university news release.

The food waste from the dining hall is sent to Bradford Farms to be composted. Furthering its sustainability efforts, Campus Dining Services converts oil to biodiesel, which fuels the trucks from Bradford Farms.

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