This month’s faculty spotlight is David Hawey, professor in the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food. David Hawey and his colleagues are planning to enhance sustainability practices into the culinary management program. In the Zero Waste Food Production initiative, students are going to be taught creative ways to find use for all parts of food, including those that are traditionally discarded such as vegetable trim, bones and fat. The methods for preparing food taught in the program will provide students with opportunities to limit food waste, such as cutting vegetables to maximize yield or finding use for food biproducts. Examples of the latter include dicing vegetables so that the off-cuts can be pureed in soups, and using the ends of vegetables and clean skins to make stocks. Students will also learn how to process foods before they spoil by freezing or dehydrating them, or making jams out of fruits. These creative methods, in addition to controlling purchasing, will contribute to reducing waste.
The inspiration of the initiative stemmed from statistics of national and global food waste, and the feeling of duty as educators to integrate sustainability to reduce food waste. David hopes that students realize that they are the next generation of culinary managers and by learning zero-waste techniques, they are graduating with the necessary tools to operate commercial kitchens in a fiscally and ethically responsible manner. The idea became a reality because of the support from the program team. David advises that if faculty have an idea for embedding creative instructional practices, they should do some research to support the idea, and consider the benefits to students, graduates, the program and college, as well as industry.