riverpark farm

Understanding Your ‘Foodprint’ – April Sustainability Programming

Since 1970, Earth Day has provided a way to bring environmental challenges to the forefront of our conversations. A catalyst for ongoing education, action and change, Earth Day promotes environmental awareness and solutions while celebrating our connection to the Earth.

tomatoes being grownHere at ICC, we often think about the impact of practices in the culinary industry on the environment. Culinary education plays an important role in teaching one to think about the use of whole ingredient cooking. Our students learn the art of charcuterie and butchery to make use of the entire animal, in addition to learning to make stocks, sauces and more utilizing vegetable cut offs. Promoting usage from leaf-to-root and snout-to-tail not only minimizes food waste, but also cuts down on food cost.

In the Farm-to-Table extension of our Professional Culinary Arts program, students take their culinary education beyond the kitchen through the 4-day Farm Powered Kitchen field trip to Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. They also participate in lectures from the agriculture specialists and Stone Barns, as well as field trips to urban farms, green markets and more.

There are other ways to decrease food waste in the kitchen, one of which is composting. Since 2007, the school has composted an average of 350 lbs per day. When possible, the school also regularly donates food to The New York City Rescue Mission, including 3-tier cakes made in our Professional Pastry Arts program. To further efforts on campus to counteract our environmental impact through food, we implemented a Meatless Monday program into our Family Meals.

mushroomsMeatless Monday encourages people to eliminate meat from their diet just one day a week to see both increased health benefits and decrease their environmental impact. In just one year, by eliminating meat from our family meal each Monday, we eliminated 4,600 lbs of meat, saving 4.8 million pounds of greenhouse gases from being emitted into our atmosphere. Since an average car emits 12,000 pounds of greenhouse gases per year, that’s the equivalent of taking 400 cars off the road!

In honor of this year’s Earth Day celebrations, we’re dedicating our event programming in April to promote sustainability in food, farming and business practices to better understand your foodprint. From panel discussions about the effect of climate change on viticulture and wine making, to demonstrations with sustainable seafood farmers and urban farm-to-table restaurants, we’ll look at the many ways food impacts the environment, and vice versa. Find a list of April demos & events below focused on sustainability and stay tuned for additional details as they become available!

Sustainable Seafood Demonstration and Lecture
with the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership
Wednesday, April 3rd | 3:30-5pm | ICC Amphitheater
Open to students & alumni – NO RSVP required. Limited seating available to the public, RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com.

Urban Farm-to-Table Demonstration with Riverpark
Led by Executive Chef Andrew Smith & Riverpark Farm Manager Jonathan Sumner
Wednesday, April 10th | 3:30-5pm | ICC Amphitheater
Open to students & alumni – NO RSVP required. Limited seating available to the public, RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com.

Off the Vine: Climate Change in Wine
Thursday, April 11th | 6:30-8pm | ICC Amphitheater
RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com

Business Bites: Sustainable Practices for Your Restaurant
Thursday, April 18th | 6:30-8pm | ICC Amphitheater
RSVP to events@culinarycenter.com

Stay tuned for more event details coming soon!