We value sustainability and try our best to lessen our impact on the environment by providing the Bethel community with local food, recycling food waste, using phosphorus-free chemicals, and more.
Food Alliance certified foods are produced in-season by local farmers. Bethel Dining Services uses local and regional farmers and producers for in-season products, providing customers with sustainable goods. We are certified for meeting the Food Alliance Standards of Excellence.
Our Local Foods
Buying local is an important component of a sustainable food purchasing plan. We're always looking for opportunities to purchase more local foods while balancing the need for good financial stewardship. We currently buy local food from:
- Bix Produce
- Caribou Coffee
- Thousand Hills Cattle Company
- Gilbertson Farms (Scandia)
- Caves of Faribault
- PB Crave
- True Stone Coffee Roasters
- The Lone Grazer Creamery
We greatly appreciate their commitment to excellence and encourage you to check out their websites.
The Royal Gardens
The Royal Gardens are our on-campus produce gardens providing vegetables and herbs for the Monson Dining Center. Our main garden, where the vegetables are grown, is located near the Bethel University seminary buildings. We also have a smaller herb garden located just outside the Monson Dining Center allowing our chefs to pick whatever fresh herbs they need during the fall harvest season. We began the gardens in the summer of 2010 and expanded them in 2011 to bring more fresh produce to your plate.
The Royal Honey Hives
The Royal Honey Hives are home to our campus honey bee colonies and are a part of the Royal Gardens. The beehives were installed in May of 2015 through a collaboration with the University of Minnesota Bee Squad. The Bee Squad maintains the hives with regular check-ups on the health of each colony and provides "Hive to Bottle" service when the honey is ready to be harvested. We are proud to be a part of the movement to protect bees in Minnesota!
We recycle paper, cans, and all plastics. By recycling all plastics, we may save between 15-20% of what is disposed in landfills. Our foam plates, bowls, and food containers are made with preconsumer recycled material. The 3900 Grill cardboard take-out containers are made from 100% recycled paperboard.
The 3900 Grill and the Royal Grounds have reusable options, encouraging the Bethel community to care for creation. You receive a discount by using your own cup or mug. We are also a part of the Choose to Reuse program in the 3900 Grill, allowing us to serve food in reusable containers instead of disposable when students opt-in.
Barthold Farms Food Recycling
Bethel Dining Services donates unpackaged, recyclable food scraps to Barthold Farms. After they cook this assorted buffet to meet the standards of health set by the Department of Animal Health, free-range pigs enjoy it. This initiative saves thousands of pounds of food waste from the landfill by redirecting it to be part of a sustainable food production cycle.
Our Manufacturing Partners
Sodexo has been an active member of industry coalitions that encourage legislators, manufacturers, and consumers to jointly develop strategies to meet today's environmental needs. We select our manufacturing partners carefully. Fort Howard, our largest contracted supplier of paper, napkins, tissue, and towels, uses recycled fiber exclusively in the manufacturing process. Mobil Chemical, our primary contracted source for plastic can liners, uses from 30% to 90% recycled materials in their plastic liners.
Sweetheart Cup, Solo Cup, Amoco, Dart, and Mobil all use pre-recycled material in the manufacture of foam plates, bowls, and food containers. Sodexo will continue to form alliances with business organizations that are ecologically sound and responsible. We will continue to work with consumer organizations, governmental agencies, and industry groups to implement new strategies and tactics as they evolve. We will actively participate in the long-range planning process at the local and national levels to ensure that our environment and economy are protected for future generations to come.
We use phosphorus-free chemicals, produced by EcoLab, to reduce our imprint on the environment. Phosphorus build-up prevents sunlight from reaching plants, especially water vegetation.
APEX™ Dishwashing System
As part of its commitment to increase the sustainability of its operations, we use Ecolab’s Apex™ dishwashing system. Apex combines technology and products designed to save water and energy, minimize the impact of products on the environment, and has a built-in method of measuring results.
In addition, the Apex system further supports Dining Services’ sustainability initiatives with non-caustic chemistry and 95% less packaging material than current methods. Apex products come in a compact solid form that significantly reduces transportation shipments compared to bulkier liquid detergents.
We would love your input in making our campus more eco-friendly. See how you, as a student, can get involved in doing things that matter!