Lehman College Sustainability

Nutrition and Sustainability

In the past decades, “green nutrition” has focused on increased consumption of locally and organically grown produce. Small-scale, community oriented vegetable gardens that use composting instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have become the mainstay of sustainable food practices.  Unlike processed foods that travel miles to reach the consumer, community-owned farming practices reduce the carbon footprint while ensuring that the consumers get fresher, better tasting produce.

Lehman College uses a multi-faceted approach towards implementing practices that involve sustainable food systems. These include a community garden in the campus that involves faculty, staff and students from various disciplines. The herbs and produce supply the foods required for the nutrition classes in the Department of Health Sciences. Food waste from these classes is in turn, composted for use in this garden. Campus Association for Student Activities (CASA) continually works with Lehman’s food service contractor (Nayyarson’s) to provide diverse range of healthy food options to the college community. The use of compostable cutlery in the cafeteria and ongoing projects to stock healthier snacks in the vending machines are some examples of the outcome of persistent efforts by students, faculty and staff to reduce the carbon footprint and improve food choices on campus.

The college has easy access to some of the Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) and Farmers Market in New York City. Students majoring in Dietetics, Foods and Nutrition often volunteer at these sites to provide nutrition education to the clients. The student environmental club has hosted events like “plant an herb”, which demonstrates to the student community that all produce need not be purchased - a sunny window can provide ample room to grow seasonal herbs that are loaded with phytonutrients!

References and Websites:

CUNY Institute for Health Equity Traffic Light System in Vending machines: http://wp.lehman.edu/lehman-today/2012/03/traffic-light-system-in-vending-machines-points-the-way-to-healthier-snack-choices/

Last modified: Mar 11, 2014

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