National parks push for sustainable foodservices

New federal rules will encourage use of local meats, produce and dairy.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—If your spring or summer travel plans this year include a national park visit, be sure to check out the healthier food options that are showing up in cafeterias and restaurants at our public lands crown jewels — and if you find some, be sure to give the chef and the park a shout-out to help encourage the transition to more sustainable eating habits.

You’ll still be able to order up a burger and fries, but you may also find a goat cheese salad served on a bed of arugula — all organic and produced at local farms. New menu items like fish tacos and yogurt parfaits are all part of the National Park Service Healthy Foods, Healthy People initiative, including new rules encouraging restaurant operators in the parks to emphasize sustainability.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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FSD Resources