Sofía Zenteno Aguirre

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As future chefs, culinary students should not only know and understand where ingredients are coming from, but also have the tools to source and prepare responsibly. Sustainability in the culinary kitchen is a hands-on class that encourages us to think about the inner connectedness between people, the environment, and the food industry's impact. Data was obtained through hands-on learning experiences, observation, and readings. Field trips included the following locations: the Roger Williams Botanical Center and Urban Garden, Save the Bay, Narraganset Bay and American Mussel Harvesters, Hallandale Farm, Our Kid’s Farm, Silk Tree Farm, RI Dairy Farm, and Farm Fresh RI. The class content encouraged us to explore crop and livestock production methods. We discussed industry sustainability issues, food hubs, community-supported agriculture, urban farming, and local food systems. We also had the opportunity to learn about soilless food cultivation systems, wellness, green restaurant kitchens, and composting in the food service industry. Finally, we learned about the negative environmental impact the food industry may have on the environment and how to reduce it. The most sustainable thing for humans to do is not to exist. However, it is possible to coexist with our environment. Chefs have a valuable voting dollar in the food world. Future industry professionals must consider this when deciding on purveyors and how to run their establishments.

Faculty Mentor

Branden Lewis, Ed.D., MBA, CEC

Academic Discipline

College of Food Innovation & Technology



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