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Committed to food sustainability

Sustainability is a long-standing core value at Queen’s Hospitality Services, and the staff’s commitment to environmentalism and the local food movement has been part of operations for several years.

Across all menu offerings, the university’s team of chefs considers seasonality, food trends, and student demand, while looking to minimize food waste and reducing the university’s carbon footprint.

Sustainability Week
Queen's University is marking Sustainability Week Oct. 1-5.

“We prepare a large majority of our soups, sauces and entrees from scratch,” says Jennifer Pete, Associate Director, Queen’s Housing and Ancillary Services. “Our culinary team integrates sustainable seafood, locally grown produce, as well as entirely Ontario/Quebec raised meats into our menus. This has been a focus for some time. For example at the Canadian Grilling Company in Mackintosh-Corry Hall, we only serve the  finest Ontario beef and chicken, as well as fresh produce from nearby farms, and the Canadian Red Fife flour buns from our campus bake shop.”

Hospitality Services makes a variety of freshly baked breads, breakfast pastries and decadent deserts from scratch, right on campus. This allows Hospitality Services to ensure that 100 per cent of the eggs used are from cage-free sources, and that local produce can be highlighted in every retail location and dining halls.

Queen’s Hospitality Services always looks to engage with the university and broader communities. Projects, such as ‘Field to Fork’ and ‘Soul Food,’ are just a few of the student clubs and charities that are longstanding partners. And through the Queen’s Farmer’s Market, held Wednesdays at the corner of Union Street and University Avenue, Hospitality Services is further expanding the inclusion of locally-grown produce in the campus dining halls.

Queen’s recently became the first Canadian university to adopt the Simple Servings program. By providing additional support to students with dietary restrictions and food allergies, this service offers meals that are custom made and fit to each student’s needs. At each Simple Servings station on campus, dishes are made without the use of Canada’s top allergens.

Going hand-in-hand with this initiative is our chefs’ commitment to develop more vegan and vegetarian options across each campus dining location. As a direct result of student demand, meals that include different milk alternatives will soon be added to the menu rotation, including vegan pizza and a number of other vegan entrees.

“Our team’s goal will always be to support student wellness, while still balancing sustainability and integrity in everything that we do,” says Ms. Pete. “Queen’s Hospitality Services is excited to continue to find innovative ways of supporting our students now, and for years to come.”