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Culinary Management Student Elisha Fernandes Takes Sustainability Course

Deciding to take Farm to Fork Sustainable Cooking was a difficult choice for me at first. As an additional course, I was torn between taking this or Italian Cuisine.


While I may have lost on learning invaluable skills and techniques, I can still pick up on those as I grow within our industry. However, this key sustainability course offers a lot in its own way. Often underlooked in many parts of the industry, the practicality of this doesn’t really speak for itself at first. Most individuals and organizations assume sustainability is merely a way to lower our carbon footprint and eliminate unnecessary waste. However, sustainable practices within our industry can not only be absolutely crucial to the preservation of future generations but can be momentous in monetary savings.

My first class was the most surprising for me. We compared multiple different eggs and chicken breasts and the differences were categorically astounding. I would never have expected that solely the way a chicken is fed and raised could make such a difference. Over the weeks this course has really given me a much broader view of food waste, and sustainable food choices. Taking what I learned about energy and water efficiency, I also managed to persuade my employers to make some large differences in the restaurant, such as a much more efficient dishwasher, new led lights with motion detection, tap aerators, and touchless sinks. We also decided to make charitable meals from remaining offcuts of food.

Although this really helps shine a light on such an important matter, I fear it isn’t entirely enough to fully engage college students. If I had one wish to make a change in how this course was offered, I’d wish there were more practical activities we could partake in outside of the college. These could be a visit to a sustainable seafood farm, sustainable agricultural farming, our difficulties with waste management and recycling, a more practical activity to measure water and energy efficacy, etc. I think these would help imprint sustainable desire and a sustainable lifestyle on students.

Being sustainable isn’t just about becoming vegan and completely eliminating waste. It's about conscious consumption. We need to weigh our options and not be so careless. This course is really an eye-opener for most people. Many students come into this course without a clue or desire to practice a sustainable lifestyle. I’m sure this course has had a colossal impact on their lifestyles as it has for mine.

I think the course should not only be a compulsory course for Culinary Management students but there should also be a similar, more extensive course for all students of Humber College, the same way an Arts and Sciences and English course is. A few of us can make a small difference to preserve our planet for future generations, but all of us can really provide a safeguarded future.

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