Sustainability in Practice: UCSF Medical Center Fights Greenwashing Data

System has goal of having 20% of all purchases made from sustainable sources by 2020.

As part of the University of California system, the UCSF Medical Center is working to achieve the system’s goal of having 20% of all purchases made from sustainable sources by 2020. In order to meet that goal, Dan Henroid, director of nutrition and foodservices at the medical center, said he knew he wanted an accurate and verifiable way to determine where his products were coming from.

“We want to be verifiable so that a third party could come in and audit our records to say that this is truly what we’ve done,” Henroid says. “We did not want to ‘greenwash’ the data. We track the percentage of sustainable purchases manually from our back-end food production computer system and also through invoices. We know that we were at 8.5% [of purchases from local sources] two years ago when we first really started tracking. We know that we were at 12.5% in 2010. We are pretty confident that we are going to exceed 16% for 2011; we are still computing that data.

“We worked very hard to find a produce house to help us track our purchases,” he adds. “I know where my purchases are coming from. It’s on the invoice every day. We worked with our main produce distributor to create quarterly reports that give us the percentage of purchases within 100 miles and 250 miles of San Francisco and within the state of California. We also can know the percentage of domestic versus international produce throughout the year from the data. We just switched to cage-free pasteurized eggs. It’s going to cost us $27,000 a year to do that, but we found cost-saving offsets so net it’s not costing us any more. We’ve had the PG&E Food Service Technology Center come out here and do audits. They made recommendations about how to improve our energy and water efficiency.”  

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
hand selecting picture

According to the Wall Street Journal, new artificial intelligence technologies are designed to assist HR each step of the way, from recruitment to retention. They scour the internet for suitable job candidates; they take new employees through the onboarding process; they answer benefits questions; and they even scan employee correspondence for signs of unhappiness or counterproductivity. But do they make sense for foodservice operators?

“Anything that can help technology-wise, why not?” says David Hill, director of dining hall operations at the University of New Hampshire . “It...

Industry News & Opinion

Amherst-Pelham Regional School District in Amherst, Mass., is updating its lunch debt policy to no longer single out students, MassLive reports.

Under the new policy, students with lunch debt will be given the same meals as their peers, regardless of how much they owe. School officials will also be communicating directly with parents of students who have accumulated debt instead of through the students themselves.

The updated policy comes just before U.S. school districts will be required to publicly list their lunch debt policies, per new USDA requirements starting July 1...

Menu Development
eureka

Since California’s state motto is “Eureka!” it seems fitting that a recent conversation with the director of hospitality at San Diego’s Palomar Health led to the biggest aha moment I’ve had in a long time.

I called Jim Metzger in late April with the purpose of discussing Palomar’s recent commitment to the goal of making 60% of its total menu plant-based by this summer. It seemed a lofty number, and I was curious how the public health system planned to get there.

But my personal eureka didn’t come while we were talking about how Palomar had cleaned up the impulse-buy zones...

Industry News & Opinion

Labeling foods with indulgent buzzwords such as “sweet sizzlin’” and “crispy” can lead consumers to make healthier food choices , according to a recent study out of Stanford University .

In the fall 2016 study, researchers labeled vegetables in one of the school’s dining halls using terms from four categories: basic, healthy restrictive, healthy positive or indulgent.

The green beans, for example, were listed as “green beans” for basic, “light ‘n’ low-carb green beans and shallots” for healthy restrictive, “healthy energy boosting green beans and shallots” for healthy...

FSD Resources