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news-iconLocal News: Food

Below are sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. These items correspond to Food.


Students to pay more for on-campus living

April 18, 2014 |
The Western Front
A four percent increase in on-campus housing rates starting this fall will help pay for more sustainable food options, keeping residence halls open during breaks, as well as improving dorm safety, said Leonard Jones, director of University Residences.

After meeting with over 150 students from the Residence Hall Association, the Associated Students and individual hall councils, University Residences decided these changes would better support students who lived in the dorms, Jones said.

Students volunteer with Growing Veterans

April 17, 2014 |
Western Today
Volunteers, including Western Washington University Associated Students board members, volunteered with Growing Veterans April 12 as part of WWU's Volunteer Week.

Photos by Mindon Win / WWU Communications and Marketing intern

$25,000 sustainability challenge offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to go global

February 17, 2014 |
The Bellingham Herald
This month Western Washington University hosted the Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference, which focused on how educational institutions can create sustainable practices. The topics covered a broad range from sharing best practices in teaching sustainability to how to ban bottled water on campuses. With this diversity of topics, it really made me wonder: what is sustainability and how do we as a community benefit?

Foraging for Fungi

November 12, 2013 |
The AS Review
With what AS Outdoor Center Excursions Coordinator Kelsey Ball referred to as "a super-storm of mushrooms this year," a hype and excitement is swelling for local mushroom hunting.

Ball organized an Outdoor Center excursion to go mushroom hunting in the Chuckanuts in late October. Following the trip, Monica Tonty, the AS Environmental Center Coordinator, designed a mushroom identification workshop this past week with local mycologist, Christine Roberts in the Chuckanut Community Forest.

Students promote on-campus sustainable eating

October 25, 2013 |
The Western Front
Western Washington University Students for Sustainable Food club took to Red Square on Thursday, Oct. 24, to demonstrate the importance of fair, healthy and green foods on campus.

Students from the club helped identify better food choices and offered locally grown carrots to people passing by. Showing an interest in the food they eat will help shift students' food perspective to seek out more fresh and healthy options, club member David Trapp said.

Whatcom Farm to School tour aims to bring local produce to lunchrooms

October 23, 2013 |
The Bellingham Herald
Whatcom County farmers and school district food service directors showed off their farms, production facilities and kitchens to one another Tuesday, Oct. 22, as part of a mobile workshop designed to foster partnerships that could bring more local produce to school cafeterias.

More than a dozen participants set out on a Whatcom Transportation Authority shuttle Tuesday morning for the Whatcom Farm to School tour. The group toured Hopewell and Cloud Mountain farms, heard a presentation from Wavrin Dairy, and participated in a kitchen skills workshop at Nooksack Middle School.

Students launch Animal Rights Club at Western

October 21, 2013 |
The Western Front
As Western Washington University juniors Robin Fransen and Lexie Baslington walk through the doors of Hohl Garden and Pet in downtown Bellingham in April 2013, they have no idea that they will meet a new best friend. That same day they adopted their shared gray and white pet rabbit, Gus Gus. Drawn to him by his instant friendliness, the two felt a strong connection with him the moment they saw him.

Fransen and Baslington have always been animal rights supporters, and believe all animals deserve a good life. They were inspired to start a club along with their friend and fellow animal lover junior Mat Pellinger, to reach out to other like-minded people, Fransen said.

From seed to table: Bellingham farm offers food education

October 4, 2013 |
The Western Front
The night stars twinkle above Western Washington University senior Rachael Morris. She sighs as she finishes up her daily tasks.

Wearing her dirt-covered boots, she rounds up the chickens and the turkeys, residents of Common Threads Farm in Bellingham. For Morris, working with animals and the dirt isn't a chore — it's her passion.

New butchershop to offer local meat

July 30, 2013 |
The Western Front
Bellingham, Wash. residents have a new place to shop for Northwest meats at Carne Bellingham, a butcher shop on State Street next to New York Pizza.

While the store is currently open with a limited selection of meat, it will have an official grand opening in a few weeks with a fuller selection of meats.

Local produce available on campus in June

May 31, 2013 |
The Western Front
Beginning June 20, Western Washington University students, faculty and staff can pay to have locally grown organic fruits and vegetables through the Viking Supported Agriculture Program.

The program is Western's community service agriculture program and supports locally grown products from Whatcom and Skagit County producers. By signing up and paying a fee, boxes full of selected produce items will be delivered to Carver Gym weekly over the summer. Options are available for the next 9, 20 or 25 weeks and available for pick up Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Carver Gym, according to the Western Sustainability website.

Aramark would support real food challenge

May 31, 2013 |
The Western Front
In the wake of the passage of the Real Food Campus Commitment in Western Washington University's Associated Students elections, Aramark said it will support the university if it decides to sign off on the commitment to increase the use of real food on campus.

The initiative passed on May 3. However, as an AS initiative, it is only a recommendation to the university. The school has yet to say if it will officially support the commitment to boost purchases of real food to at least 20 percent of what is consumed on campus.

Viking Supported Agriculture program open for sign-ups

May 30, 2013 |
Western Today
Western Washington University students, staff and faculty interested in participating in the 2013 Viking Supported Agriculture program can sign up now.

The VSA is Western's Community Supported Agriculture program, bringing students, staff and faculty in contact with Whatcom and Skagit County produce and producers.

Students continue push for real food

May 10, 2013 |
The Western Front
Students voted to continue pushing for real food on campus, despite unknown results of former efforts.

On May 3, the Real Food Campus Commitment passed in Western Washington Univerisity's Associated Students election, and the AS is urging Western to sign the commitment and be officially recognized as a member of Real Food Challenge.

Frontline: The battle for real food isn't over

May 10, 2013 |
The Western Front
Western Washington University students have spoken — we're tired of being fed like animals from the corporate trough. The Real Food Commitment, which was approved by 92 percent of student voters, urges Western to shift 30 percent of our food purchases to "real food," food from local, humane and sustainable sources, by 2020. The Western Front is proud of our campus' desire to be conscious about what we consume. However, there's still work to be done.

Support Viking Supported Agriculture

May 8, 2013 |
The Western Front
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a movement that began in the mid 1980s and aims to support local, family-owned farms.

As corporations have taken over the United States food industry, small-scale, family farms that once thrived have been driven out of business or forced to conform to the corporate agenda.

Activist speaks about importance of earth elements

May 7, 2013 |
The Western Front
David Suzuki spoke in the Performing Arts Center about the negative impact of humans on the planet.

Suzuki, internationally recognized environmentalist and activist came to Western May 6 and gave his lecture, "Time is Running Out: Ecology or Economics," to a packed room at the Performing Arts Center. View entire lecture here: http://youtu.be/5wtUMM8SDws

AS elections to end May 3: Sustainable energy measure on ballot

April 16, 2013 |
The Western Front
Ballot measures include a proposal to move away from Western's investments in companies involved in fossil fuel production in favor of sustainable energy.

Additionally, the Real Food Campus Commitment would annually increase the use of "real-food," defined as ecologically sound food as determined by the Real Food Calculator, to 30 percent by 2020. The plan would also increase the responsibility of staff and students to maintain that percentage through establishing a reporting system with an annual progress report.

Simplici-tea: Nomadic tea specialist brews up good feeling at Western

April 12, 2013 |
The Western Front
The 'Edna Lu' rolls into Bellingham the morning of Saturday, April 6, leaving the distinct aroma of tea on the wind. Guisepi Spadafora turns on his portable stove and sets a kettle to boil. Throwing open the doors to his home-on-wheels, he waits with a smile on his face to serve tea to anyone who comes by, completely free of charge.

The bus is also built with an eye for sustainability, running on a waste vegetable oil system. Spadafora takes unused oil from restaurants he comes across, and utilizes it as a free and clean power source. By outfitting the bus with a secondary fuel system, the oil is spun in a device to separate it from unneeded food particles. The engine wakes up with biodiesel, and then transfers to the vegetable oil as the secondary power kicks in.

Local organization reaches out to veterans, hopes to grow

April 12, 2013 |
The Western Front
Growing Veterans, a local veteran's group, is boosting its outreach to veterans around the state by providing job and volunteer opportunities in sustainable agriculture starting Saturday, April 13 with its first work party.

Growing Veterans occupies the 3-acre farm previously owned and operated by the Bellingham Food Bank until 2012, when it gave up the lease after 5 years of farming.

Students push for local, fair-trade food

April 12, 2013 |
The Western Front
Students are pushing for a formal commitment to ensure that 30 percent of Western Washington University's food purchases will meet sustainability requirements by 2020.

The Students for Sustainable Food club promotes the idea that food offered on campus must be organic, local, humane or fair trade to qualify as "real food."

Northwest Harvest, Co-op help Food Bank

March 8, 2013 |
The Western Front
The largest allocation of grant money in the Community Food Co-op's history will be distributed among 11 farms and food programs. A portion of the $15,000 grant will be given to the Bellingham Food Bank, according to a March 1 co-op press release.

The food bank's farm closed in fall 2012, but the food bank is now working directly with other farms to purchase fresh produce, said Mike Cohen, executive director of the Bellingham Food Bank.

Bellingham hopes to trim government involvement at city-run community gardens

February 9, 2013 |
The Bellingham Herald
The city of Bellingham hopes to save money by shifting the task of overseeing several community gardens to other groups interested in doing the job. The city also plans to terminate its lease after this year for private property used for a community garden in Happy Valley. However, the three family owners of the property favor continuing to use that land for gardens.

Farmers Market extending season

November 27, 2012 |
The Western Front
The Bellingham Farmers Market will expand its nine-month season, usually April to December by expanding to once a month through March.

They are now able to expand into the winter months because farmers have extended their growing season due to grants received in the past two years from the United States Department of Agriculture, said Caprice Teske, market director for Bellingham Farmers Market.

What it means to think local this holiday season

November 20, 2012 |
Sustainable Connections
With the holiday season here, Sustainable Connections' begins their 10th annual holiday "buy local" campaign in Bellingham and Whatcom County, reminding shoppers to visit local and independently owned businesses for their holiday shopping.

Aramark nears 'real food' goal

November 9, 2012 |
The Western Front
Students are asking Aramark, Western's food service company, to stay real.

The company is approaching the goal of the Real Food Challenge, a national health program, to use 20 percent 'real food' by the end of the year, and is closer than any other school in the state at meeting this goal. However, it has not formally joined the challenge.

Welcome To The Outback Farm

October 8, 2012 |
The AS Review
The Outback Farm has been an official Associated Students program for six years, yet it's been a productive agricultural site for the community since the 1920s.

It was originally homesteaded by the Burn family where the farm sits today. Western later obtained the land and used it for the construction of school facilities and resident halls.

Local foods limited on campus

October 5, 2012 |
The Western Front
Engrained, a café that has made a commitment to promote local and sustainable food, has been replaced on campus by Subway, a fast-food restaurant with more than 25,000 locations nationwide.

Since it was replaced this year, some selections from the Engrained menu have been added to the Viking Union café offerings, said Stephen Wadsworth, resident district manager of Aramark, Western's food service company.

Viking Supported Agriculture taking signups for fall

October 3, 2012 |
Western Today
The Viking Supported Agriculture program at Western Washington University is now taking signups for fall food boxes.

VSA is Western's Community Supported Agriculture program. Those who sign up will receive a box of local fresh organic fruits and veggies every Thursday from Oct. 11 to Dec. 6.

Students grow food for Food Bank at Outback Farm

August 31, 2012 |
Western Today
For more than 40 years the Outback Farm has been a student-run hub of hands-on agricultural education at WWU.

This year the Outback established a new community partnership with the Bellingham Food Bank. With seeds and crop guidance from the food bank, the Outback created a dedicated production effort. Every Wednesday morning, students meet to harvest vegetables and send the week's bounty to the food bank for distribution to the local community.

The Paleolithic diet: grains versus greens

June 1, 2012 |
The Western Front
The Paleolithic diet is based on a simple premise — if the cavemen didn't eat it, then neither should anyone else. This limits food choices down to the bare minimum: fish, meat, chicken, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Viking Supported Agriculture shares now available

May 16, 2012 |
Western Today
You've heard of Community Supported Agriculture, right? Well, Viking Supported Agriculture is the Western Washington University version, and shares are now available. Students, faculty and staff are invited to sign up to partake in this year's program.

Dining Services launches sustainability newsletter

May 7, 2012 |
Western Today
University Dining Services at Western Washington University has launched a newsletter dedicated to dining sustainability. The first issue includes stories on recent developments in dining at Western, a spotlight on Edaleen Dairy and a recipe for French toast featuring only local ingedients.

Viking Supported Agriculture Veggie Boxes are now available!

April 2012 |
Viking Supported Agriculture
Are you staying in Bellingham over the summer? Sign up for veggie boxes and enjoy veggies fresh from local farms. The program continues in the fall.

Viking Supported Agriculture Veggie Boxes are now available! Students, faculty and staff are invited to sign up here through Growing Washington (Growingwashington.org) to partake in this year's delicious program. Choose "Whatcom-Bellingham-WWU" for your "location", and if you are a student enter "Starving Student" into the discount field and get 15% off!

This year you will have the freedom to pick every item in your box, or choose to have the farmers make the decision for you. Both are delicious! Shares run from June 21st through November 1st/December 2nd. Boxes will be dropped off every Thursday outside of Carver Gym. If you are staying in Bellingham over the summer this share is for you, but if you will be out of town, don't worry you'll still be able to sign up in the fall.

Whatcom Locavore: A food policy wish list, and crockpot rump roast recipe

March 13, 2012 |
The Bellingham Herald
Last week I participated with a panel of speakers for an ecogastronomy class at Western Washington University. The course is taught by Gigi Berardi, an enthusiastic instructor who also teaches local food and farm courses at WWU and ecogastronomy in Italy with Slow Food. The topic this particular day was food policy, a more global topic than I typically address.

As I pondered what I could contribute to the discussion, I realized I brought the point of view of an individual food consumer. That set me to considering how food policies have affected me over the years.

Short film tells plight of family-owned farms

February 24, 2012 |
Western Today
The Resilience Institute at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment has released "Our Farms are at Risk," a short film detailing the key threats to the region's family farms.

The two-and-a-half-minute film was made by Bellingham's Hand Crank Films and recently won a prestigious ADDY award from the American Advertising Federation in the category of best interactive web videos. It can be viewed online at www.farmresilience.org.

Tips for eating locally-grown food during the holidays

November 18, 2011 |
The AS Review
The holidays are about family and friends, and having that little bit of extra time to finish homework. But when it comes down to it, this American holiday is characterized in no small part by food. This year, do something new and try cooking a holiday feast with locally-grown ingredients for a more sustainable approach to the holiday festivities.

Value of farming the subject of short film shot in Whatcom County

November 14, 2011 |
The Bellingham Herald
As fewer Americans maintain direct ties to farming and as urban areas increase, several local organizations are working on a short film to spread a message about the value of agriculture.

Last week, Bellingham-based Hand Crank Films finished shooting footage in Whatcom County for what will be a five-minute video about the importance of farming. The video focuses on several local farmers talking about the state of the agricultural industry and providing a powerful visual message, along with a new community website for people interesting in learning more, said Chris Donaldson of Hand Crank. The film, directed by Caleb Young, is expected to be ready in early 2012.

Eating locally is no longer such a longshot

November 12, 2011 |
The Seattle Times
Eating local foods, at least as one focus of a daily diet, has turned from an esoteric experiment to just-shy-of-mainstream. As demand grows, for reasons of health, environment or the local economy, more producers have taken the time to grow or stock ingredients that were once unattainable.

Despite setbacks, student co-op still on horizon

November 8, 2011 |
The Western Front
After a year of developing plans to start a food cooperative on campus, and after being sued by campus food provider Aramark, Western Washington University senior Chelsea Enwall is getting closer to achieving her goal.

Enwall, coordinator of the WWU Student Food Cooperative, said though the project is still in its planning stages, she hopes students can see a campus co-op by next fall. In the meantime, the WWU Student Food Cooperative is working to gain student and faculty support by spreading the word about the co-op and collecting opinions through surveys.

Viking Supported Agriculture

October 31, 2011 |
The AS Review
The Office of Sustainability, in cooperation with Growing Washington, an organization dedicated to strengthening local communities through sustainable practices, will be giving students and staff the opportunity to receive fresh, locally-grown vegetables and produce through the Viking Supported Agriculture project.

Western's green thumbs

September 19, 2011 |
The AS Review
When heading south beyond the Fairhaven stacks or going north through the meadow and plum orchard lays a 5-acre gem called the Outback Farm. The Outback was founded in 1972 after being an equipment storage site for Fairhaven construction; it was originally named "The Outback Pig Farm," a place where students could live and learn the ways of sustainable growing and land use. At one point there was even a fire-fueled hot tub. Volunteers ran the Outback until 2006 when the Associated Students officially sponsored the program.

WWU, Aramark Sign New Dining Services Contract

July 29, 2011 |
Western Today
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University and Aramark have signed a contract making Aramark Higher Education the new vendor for campus dining services at the university.

WWU's Resilient Farms Project Awarded Grant for Research on Threats to Small- and Medium-Sized Farms

May 24, 2011 |
Western Today
BELLINGHAM – The Resilient Farms Project of Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment Resilience Institute has received a $1,100 grant from the Whatcom Community Foundation for research and workshops to help small-scale farms in Western Washington enhance their resiliency.

Outback Farm seeks new pavilion

May 23, 2011 |
The AS Review
Over the past year, students and faculty have been developing plans for a new Outback Farm pavilion to provide stability and a safe learning environment. Now that the Outback's proposal for a new pavilion to replace the current one is nearly complete, construction could potentially start this summer, and the pavilion may be ready for use beginning fall quarter.

The Outback is a joint program of Fairhaven College and the Associated Students that maintains five acres of land between the south end of Fairhaven College and the Buchanan Towers residence hall. The Outback is entirely coordinated and maintained by students in an effort to teach sustainable growing and land use methods to other students, faculty and the Bellingham community.

Sodexo's out: Food-service provider Aramark to take over as university ends Sodexo contract 1 year early

May 20, 2011 |
The Western Front
Aramark, a Philadelphia-based foodservice provider, will be taking over Western's dining services in fall 2011.

The $12.6-billion company beat out Sodexo, Western's foodservice provider for the past 50 years, in a bid for the 10-year contract with the university. Until the contract has been finalized, it will remain unclear how much the university will save by switching to Aramark.

Aramark apparent new vendor for WWU Dining Services, replacing Sodexo

May 17, 2011 |
Western Today
Aramark is the apparent successful vendor for a new contract for campus dining services at Western Washington University.

The new 10-year contract is scheduled to begin Sept. 1, 2011. Aramark will be providing dining services at Western to include three resident dining halls, catering and retail cafes and markets. A competitive bid process with a request for proposals was issued in November 2010. The result included proposals from two high-quality national vendors: Aramark and Sodexo.

Where the wild foods are

May 3, 2011 |
HeraldNet
Jennifer Hahn sees more than the forest for the trees. She sees dinner. From ferns come fiddleheads. From trees, sap for syrup or blossoms for a fritter. From the forest floor, delicate mushrooms and lemon-flavored wood sorrel.

Where some see weeds, Hahn sees possibilities. She can transform the lowly dandelion into a triumvirate of culinary treats. The flower creates a sweet syrup. The leaves are a fine addition to a salad. And from the mighty tap root -- roasted and pulverized -- a complex ice cream with hints of chocolate, coffee, molasses and caramel.

Popular local sandwich maker hits Miller Market

May 2, 2011 |
The AS Review
Been to Miller Market recently? Notice anything new? Although construction is far from over on Miller Hall, the addition of one of Bellingham's favorite eateries, Avenue Bread, has been a pleasant surprise for students this quarter who might be growing tired of the Sodexo-produced offerings found throughout campus.

Dining Services aims to reduce food waste in campus dining commons

April 27, 2011 |
Western Today
During its Sustainable Dinner served April 20 in the campus dining commons, University Dining Services held a "Weight the Waste" event to determine the amount of food dished up but not eaten during dinner.

Customers of each of the three dining commons scraped uneaten food scraps and paper napkins into compost bins, which were then weighed and divided by the total number of customers at the meal.

Fresh and Filthy: How young people are growing their own crops

April 26, 2011 |
The Western Front
The long, dark winter has turned into only a slightly warmer spring. But it's planting season and the bleak weather won't stop those who are itching to get their hands in the dirt.

Anyone can get involved with the emerging fresh farm produce on campus at the Outback Farm and in Whatcom County at nearby farms.

Sustainable, affordable and local

April 18, 2011 |
The AS Review
From seed to fork and from a garden to your plate, the members of the Associated Students club Students for Sustainable Food are trying to shorten the distance between you and your meals. The club is in the process of making sustainable, affordable and locally sourced food available on campus through the formation of a student-run food cooperative. For those involved, it's not solely about food either. The co-op would be an environmentally friendly food source, relying on local food growers and helping foster a sense of community, in addition to teaching students how to cook their own delicious meals.

For Bellingham writer and wild foods forager, the outdoors is her pantry

April 7, 2011 |
The News Tribune
Jennifer Hahn hasn't walked all that far down the driveway of her home when she stops in front of a small Indian plum tree that's starting to sprout green, plucks a leaf and pops it into her mouth. It tastes like bitter cucumber, she says, adding: "They're really the first signs of spring." The Bellingham resident is standing on the edge of her six-acre wooded hillside, where she'll forage for greens to add to an early spring meal made from recipes featured in her book, "Pacific Feast: A Cook's Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine" ($21.95, paperback).

From drizzle to downpour

April 5, 2011 |
The Western Front
Though the rain was pouring down on Saturday, April 2, it could not dampen the spirits of the vendors and customers who gathered at the Bellingham Farmers Market on the opening day of the season.

Isabelle Nagel-Brice happily sold potatoes, hazelnuts, cabbage and more produce at the Broad Leaf Farm. "It's important to buy local because you are supporting the farmers that keep us alive," Nagel-Brice said. "Taste is also important. At the farmers market, people can get food with the most optimum nutrition levels and taste."

Avenue Bread to be available in Miller Market spring quarter

March 15, 2011 |
Western Today
University Dining Services and Bellingham's Avenue Bread are working together to bring more fresh, local options to the Western Washington University campus.

Starting in spring quarter, Avenue Bread's sandwiches, salads and pastries will be available at Miller Market.

Go wild for foraged foods

March 14, 2011 |
The AS Review
When thinking about foraging, most of us probably picture a hearty but less-than-appetizing meal of berries and leaves. However, for Fairhaven instructor Jennifer Hahn and many other foragers like her, the possibilities in the forests and bodies of water that surround us are more delicious than we may think.

Hahn learned how to forage years ago and has made it one of her life passions, writing multiple books on the subject and even teaching classes at Fairhaven, including one titled "Northwest Wild Foods," which will be offered spring quarter. On Friday, April 8, Hahn will host "GO WILD: Coastal Foraging and Cuisine" at the Bellingham Public Library. The event will include a lecture, wild food samples and a book signing for her newest work, "Pacific Feast."

In WWU residence halls, Dining Services experiments with Meatless Mondays

March 8, 2011 |
Western Today
Western Washington University Dining Services introduced the concept of "Meatless Monday" in three of the resident dining halls on campus Monday, March 7.

The dark side of the moo

February 25, 2011 |
The Western Front
Creating energy, bedding and fertilizer from cow manure and pre-consumed food waste may be the next big thing when it comes to renewable resources.

Eric Powell of Andgar Corp. said it is one of the most recent up-and-coming "green" ideas. In 2000, Andgar partnered with GHD Anaerobic Digesters in Chilton, Wis., to build an anaerobic digester they needed for the Northwest. GHD has the patented design and Andgar builds them.

More schools trying to serve Washington-grown food — but it isn't easy

September 25, 2010 |
Seattle Times
More schools are putting Washington-grown food on the cafeteria menu and farms are increasingly interested in selling to schools, but getting locally grown products onto lunch trays is no easy matter.

Meanwhile, Growing Washington, a Bellingham farmers co-op, has been selling regularly to five school districts and Western Washington University, according to Director Clayton Burrows. Recently, he said, they supplied Seattle with some cucumbers and carrots — a foot in the door.