CulinArt, SBU strive to stop food waste every day - CulinArt Group

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CulinArt, SBU strive to stop food waste every day

STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 2, 2022—The dining services team at Stony Brook University turned into “waste warriors” last Wednesday—Stop Food Waste Day—as they participated in a number of activities designed to draw attention to and minimize food waste.

Compass Group, the parent company of SBU’s dining services partner, CulinArt, launched Stop Food Waste Day (annually the last Wednesday of April) to raise awareness of the global issue surrounding wasted food. Stop Food Waste Day is an international day of action to share solutions in our cafés and across social media that address food waste at the source and in the home, and to inform clients and guests about the environmental, social, and financial impact of food waste and provide tips on ways they can save food at home.

SBU, CulinArt, and SBU students demonstrate their commitment to this important cause with many events across campus every year on Stop Food Waste Day. This year, Executive Chef Jack Yuksel led a Teaching Kitchen session demonstrating for participating students the different ways to incorporate vegetables into meals. Elsewhere, chefs created Root-to-Stem entrees—a Broccoli and Carrot Slaw and a Pasta Salad—that competed in an “East vs. West” dining hall battle in which meal plan students voted for their favorite dish. And Peter Klein, CulinArt’s director of culinary development, appeared as a Guest Chef and served a special Stop Food Waste dinner menu that maintained the Root-to-Stem theme.

But the annual event is a culmination of events and commitments that take place all year long, each and every day. For example:

  • Our chefs have been working hard behind the scenes to incorporate more meatless and “root to stem” options into our daily menus. Root to Stem cooking utilizes every part of the fruits and vegetables found in a recipe—even the parts that are commonly discarded, including the green tops of carrots or beets and the leaves of broccoli and cauliflower. Used in sauces, stocks, or stir-fries, these parts are often the most nutritious, containing fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
  • For the parts of plants and ingredients we cannot use in our menus, we compost! Each dining location has specially designated compost collection containers that are collected weekly and added to our on-campus composter. Each year at SBU, more than 37,000 pounds of food waste is collected and converted to 14,500 pounds of usable compost.
  • We work to reduce the footprint of the ingredients we use by sourcing ingredients from local farms and producers—some even as close as right here on campus! Our hydroponic, student-run Freight Farm produces up to an acre of fresh produce each semester, which is used across campus in our salad bars and recipes.
  • We work to reduce waste in what we serve here on campus. Trays of prepared food are safely blast-chilled and donated to local organizations like Island Harvest. Grab-and-go items from our Market and Emporium are donated to our on-campus Food Pantry, serving community members (students, staff and faculty) who are food-insecure or who are at risk of food insecurity.
  • We are also incorporating more biodegradable and plant-based options for single-use cutlery, reducing the impact of single-use items in landfills. We have also introduced products in our Campus Market and Emporium including plant-based toothbrushes, bottle-free bar shampoos, and more.
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  • May 2, 2022
Corporate News


What our clients are saying

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“Thank you and your staff for all the care and thought you give CSW adults and students. You approach events with such care and elegance- I don’t know how you do it! Especially day after day. Please thank all your staff for their wonderful work and kind manner with all of us. Here is to a great year!”

“Many, and I do mean many, thanks for a great Parents Weekend.  I heard from so many happy parents and you all work very hard to make it happen.  In gratitude and kindness…”

“We are so thankful and so impressed by your immediate attention to our power outage. It was such a relief to see all the equipment and workers coming in within a few hours of the outage. Thank you for serving dinner to all [the] students in a very difficult circumstance. Please extend our thanks to your workers who braved cold weather to grill hamburgers and hotdogs.”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“I can’t thank your entire team enough for the outstanding service, food, displays, everything!  You are a master at detail, and because of that Adam and I were able to focus on the parents.  I know what a sacrifice pulling off a weekend like this means, we are so appreciative and grateful to you all for your talent and generosity.”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

“Thank You! Chef Budd [and team], you overcame a new online ordering system (and hundreds of labels daily!), provided creative and healthy menus, continued to connect with local farmers to incorporate locally sourced ingredients, and worked tirelessly to serve the school community on three campuses.  While it feels like you are all a little like the Wizard of Oz right now, working behind a curtain in a kitchen far away, we sense your smiles and your passion to deliver the best possible service during these trying times. We are all so grateful!”

“I will say that CulinArt has always been a very collaborative partner to T. Rowe Price, listening to our current needs and future goals and suggesting realistic and achievable strategies to meet those goals.  2020 was obviously no exception.  CulinArt also altered other areas of our OCS and pantry programs to create safer environments for all our associates. We can only thank you for your continued flexibility and innovative ideas through these difficult times.”

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