Sidwell Friends has been committed to cleaner and greener food since 2004; its “Green Cuisine” program now incorporates, wherever possible, ingredients and practices that are truly sustainable.
Teaching “food intelligence” is an important factor. The menu planning, preparation methods, ingredients, and dishes make everyone on campus more mindful. “Meatless Menus” emphasize that eating less meat is better for our health and environment, reducing factory farming, water contamination, land degradation, and greenhouse gases. Using local, seasonal ingredients maximizes freshness and minimizes the distance food is transported, thus saving energy, reducing pollution, and supporting local farmers and merchants.
Mealtimes are also opportunities for students to discover where the food on their menu originates and what it does for their bodies; they learn to avoid waste by taking only the amount of food they’ll actually eat, a practice that contributes to a more affordable dining program. On a daily basis the school ships its compost to local farms, which includes Sandy Spring Friends School’s farm.
When everything comes together in the cafeteria, the results are impressive, and include a main entrée hot bar with a vegetarian option; nutrient-rich dark green leafy vegetables seasoned only with fresh herbs—some from the Lower or Middle School rooftop gardens—and fresh salad, sandwich, fruit, and yogurt options. There are no processed foods, added MSG, trans fats, fried foods, added-sugar sweets, high-mercury fish, high-fat ingredients and recipes, or non-seasonal imported foods.
Each food-related goal is reflected in the menu and experienced in the food served. Students are now more open to new foods and tastes, a testament to the success of “Green Cuisine.”
For more detailed information on the program visit: http://www.sidwell.edu/feen/food/food/index.aspx?LinkId=22739&ModuleId=651