BLOG: Aramark’s Four Major Elements for Sustainable Dining at UK

Legacy term feeds LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2019) — Following is a blog from Aramark, the University of Kentucky’s dining partner, about the company’s sustainability efforts at UK.Thirty-thousand students, two dining halls, a myriad of local food options, and an ever-dwindling amount of food waste. These four elements comprise the dining landscape of the University of Kentucky (UK), where sustainability and efficiency converge. Whether you’ve already implemented sustainable practices into your food offerings or you don’t know where to start, UK can serve as your inspiration. We spoke with Aramark Sustainability Manager Carolyn Gahn who works closely with the campus sustainability director and the department of waste management to ensure that their dining program is aligning with the university’s goals and needs.

Sourcing from Local Farms

The University of Kentucky — established in 1865 as a land-grant University — is well-known among the farming community near Lexington. Through their commitments to using local growers, UK sources produce and protein from farms close to campus. In fact, $1.7 million of UK Dining’s budget was spent on local food last year. In addition to giving the students fresh options from down the road, local options also help UK conserve natural resources and support the community. 

One of Gahn’s main goals is “to bring the experiences I’ve created for my kids at home to UK.” Just as her own kids are able to see that their food comes from their own backyard, “I want the students to know where their food has come from and how it got to their plate,” she says. Executive Chef Marty Burton agrees, inspired by his daughter, “I want to make sure in the future, she will have access to the same natural food and produce that we have now. If we don’t take the action now, what are future generations going to do?”

Gahn’s farming and agriculture background …

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