Sustainable Food Initiatives
By incorporating sustainability into our standard operating practices and requiring our suppliers to adhere to specific sustainability requirements, we are creating a healthier and more environmentally responsible working and learning environment at Humber.
Food Learning Garden
The Humber Food Learning Garden, a collaborative project by Humber's Arboretum and Centre of Innovation, opened its garden gates this summer to beautiful beds of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, leafy greens and a variety of herbs. The garden is a space for students and the local community to learn more about local food harvesting, sustainable agriculture, food security, and healthy living, which are also featured though curriculum integreations in the Horticulture, ECE and Culinary programs. Click here to read more about the Food Learning Garden.
Local Food Procurement Project
In early 2017, Humber College partnered with Mohawk College and with funding from the Government of Ontario and the Greenbelt Fund, a report was developed in order to address challenges and help increase the amount of local food procured at 24 of Ontario's Colleges. The Office of Sustainability developed a Local Food Seasonality Calendar and a Myth-busting fact sheet to inform procurement decisions with our food services team and to help educate students, staff, and faculty.
The collateral material we developed may be downloaded for free here:
- Myth-busting Fact Sheet
- Local Food Seasonality Calendar: Full
- Local Food Seasonality Calendar: Quick Guide
- Curriculum Document for HRT Classes
- Local Food Procurement Project Presentation
- Your Local Food Guide Leaflet
In 2014 Humber became a mentee in the first cohort of the 3P Partnership Program (Public, Purse, Procurement) led by My Sustainable Canada with funding from the Greenbelt Fund. The program was developed to increase sustainable food purchasing in public institutions in order to leverage the buying power of the public sector and support the development of local sustainable food systems.
Through this program, Humber’s goals were to develop a culture of sustainable purchasing on campus. By the end of the program we:
- Increased the food sources from Ontario by 10% (worth $100,000),
- Set several RFP commitments for our food service provider:
- At least 30% of estimated annual food purchases must be sourced from local and sustainable growers and vendors (RFP commitment)
- Require a minimum annual 2% increase of estimated annual food purchases sourced from local and sustainable growers and vendors (RFP commitment),
- Annual reports must indicate where all food is sourced.
North Campus Arboretum Greenhouse and Garden
The North Campus has a greenhouse where a wide variety of plants and herbs are grown and used in the Arboretum, on campus and in several of Humber's Culinary programs:
Humber's student-run restaurant 'The Humber Room' features food items, garnishes and garden fresh vegetables grown on campus
Chef's table class for apprentices & culinary management use plants for course displays
Students learning basic culinary skills do a walk-through of the Greenhouse to better understand different herbs, lettuces and flavour builders
- Plants are used as decoration for special events
Campus Food Options
Chartwells, a division of Compass Group Canada, provides food services at Humber College and promotes sustainability by:
- Using only certified cage-free eggs
Discounting beverages when patrons bring refillable mugs
- Providing Styrofoam-free serving ware
What you can do
There are many choices you can make to be more sustainable on and off campus:
- Eat less meat and more vegetarian meals. Livestock supply chains represent 14.5% of all human-induced emissions (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, pg 15).
- Compost your food waste. Close to half of all food produced worldwide is wasted after production or discarded (David Suzuki).
- Buy local
- Buy Fairtrade and find out where to buy Fairtrade on Campus
- Attend sustainable food related events to learn more
- Check out a collection of delicious vegetarian recipes!