VITAM seeks to use more ‘green’ products in the dishes it serves up. In order to achieve this feat, the campus catering service, in association with its supplier Smeding and informative organisation Milieu Centraal, has developed a seasonality table.

The table indicates which products are in season at which time of the year. From now on, naturally grown fruits and vegetables will be chosen over hothouse fruits and vegetables. For instance, you will no longer be able to have strawberries at VITAM’s restaurants in December.

Different food every month

The seasonality table is currently being displayed at Etude restaurant, but other VITAM-run restaurants on campus are applying it as well, according to Ronald Feenstra, VITAM site manager.

Students seem to appreciate the initiative. ‘I wasn’t aware they were using the table, but I like that they’re doing so,’ said International Communications & Media student Cato de Beer. Student Daniel Jongeman wasn’t familiar with the table, either. ‘But I think it’s a good idea.’

Energy labels

In addition to using seasonal produce, the catering service is increasingly focusing on whether the fruits and vegetables were grown in a sustainable manner. 95 percent of the fruits and vegetables it purchases must come with Energy Label A or B, which are assigned on the basis of the type of packaging used and of the way in which the produce was grown and transported. For instance, VITAM prefers bulk-packaged produce to individually wrapped products. Furthermore, the caterer looks into the amount of space required to transport the produce, and the amount of space wasted in transport.

VITAM strives to use 75 percent home-grown produce. What little imported produce it uses is subject to stringent requirements. For instance, products shipped to Holland are preferred to products flown in.