November 2019 Newsletter
Dear Friends,
Fresh, locally sourced food is great for us and important to our environment — but a myth persists that it’s expensive to produce.
 
This just isn't the case.
 
Truthfully, waste is the real expense in institutional food production. By reducing and in some cases eliminating food and material waste, you can save money and have happier, healthier customers.
 
We have helped schools, hospitals and other institutions realize this for more than a decade. For example, we helped Buffalo, N.Y.-based Westminster Community Charter School, a K-8 Charter School, build a sustainable food program that lowered the school's average food cost by 15% in 2016. It also saved more than 75% of production waste from landfills. That year, 60% of breakfast, 80% of afternoon snacks, and 100% of lunches were scratch cooked.
 
How did we do it? We reduced waste, which is the key to having money for higher quality food. We eliminated spoiled food and over-production. We made purchasing more efficient. And when we increased food quality, we found that more students ate the food, which also eliminated waste.
 
With more kids excited about eating Westminster’s food every day, we were able to embrace economies of scale. This means that we produced more meals, which enabled us to buy certain ingredients in bulk and save on costs.
 
Or take our work with Nardin Academy (also in Buffalo). We helped them to set up a waste tracking system for recycling, compost, and landfill waste, that resulted in Nardin diverting 86% of its cafeteria waste during the school year. This reduction in waste, as well as making the kitchen more efficient, made it possible for Nardin to buy higher quality food and green products. The school went from buying 80% processed foods (with half of its sales coming from snacks and beverages) to a menu made entirely from scratch, with 74% of sales coming from well-balanced meals.
 
This shows that school cafeterias don’t have to rely on sugary, processed junk foods to see a profit. Nardin sold 25% less of it and was still able make enough money to invest in other sustainable activities.
 
And let’s not forget the deeper value to these programs: our overall health. I say ‘our’ because we all share in the benefits of a healthier food system that bolsters local food production, is gentler on our environment and ultimately changes kids’ relationships to healthy food for their lifetimes.
 
So, let me say it again: Local, fresh food does not have to cost you more. If you want to save money or (at stay, at the very least, within your current budget) and see your food quality and kitchen efficiency skyrocket — we can help you. Dip your toes in the water with our our one, two or three-day workshops , or reach out to us to schedule an individual consultation.
Recipe of the Month
Kale Chips
rustic_wood_kale.jpg
Kale chips are a fun way to get kids to eat their greens. Kale, among the most nutrient dense cultivated foods, provides high quantities of Vitamins A, C, and K, as well as protein and folate, a B Vitamin great for brain development.

Especially popular with kids is a variety called Dinosaur (Lacinato) kale so named because the textured leaves look just like dinosaur skin. Tie Dinosaur kale chips to history class with a lesson about the foods grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.

Kale is also an easy crop to grow all year round even in cold climates with the help of a greenhouse, sunny window, or hoop house.
Reducing Waste at Lincoln 27 & Beyond
The money to purchase better food is in the garbage
Heading towards 100% scratch cooked and 30% local food, the cooks and custodial staff at Lincoln Elementary School District are weighing food and garbage on a scale daily. The practice of measuring food production and waste uncovers wasted money and time, and informs menu development to meet customer satisfaction.

Hear from cooks, custodial staff, and the Beyond Green Partners team about what it means to reduce waste at Lincoln 27 & Beyond. #lincoln27andbeyond
Lincoln 27 and Beyond at Green Schools Conference & Expo
Tackling Waste and Wellness Through a School and Hospital Partnership
Beyond Green Partners is teaming up with Lincoln Elementary School District and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital to present a collaborative process to systemically improving student and community health at the Green Schools Conference & Expo. For the presentation our own Chef Greg Christian will be joined by Angela Stoltzenburg, Director, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Community Health Collaborative and Connie Crawley, Food Service Director, Lincoln Elementary School District. For more information visit the Green Schools Conference & Expo website today.

Green Schools Conference & Expo
March 2-4, 2020 | Portland, Oregon
Registration is now OPEN!
News that Motivates
Food Security and the U.S. Food Supply Chain
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois developed the first high resolution map of the U.S. food supply chain. The map offers a snapshot of how food flows between counties for grains, fruits and vegetables, animal feed, and processed food items. Looking at the maps you can see how your county is connected to all other counties by way of food transfers. With increasingly complex food supply chains, an evaluation of the infrastructure offers solutions to both the environmental and food security problems we face today. Read more about the research.

Beyond Green Partners offers school food cooks training to make food from scratch using locally grown and produced ingredients under budget.
Thanks again for the continued support. Drop us a line (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or the old fashioned way), we would love to hear from you!

Sincerely,

Greg Christian and the Beyond Green Sustainable Partners Team
312-275-6801