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Bait Fish In Ohio

As the practice of fish farming in Ohio continues to progress, more farmers are in need of bait fish, which is a fish used as bait to catch larger fish.  There is a variety of bait fish, including goldfish and carp.  Two of the main bait fish raised in Ohio include the spotfin shiner and the emerald shiner.

For many years Ohio has imported bait fish from other states like Minnesota and Wisconsin.  However, aqauculture specialists discovered there is plenty of land and water that is suitable to a variety of cool and cold water species. For the last five years, aquaculture researchers at Ohio Center for Aquaculture Development have worked on enhancing the development of the spotfin shiner. Enhancement can only be done on the spotfin shiner as its biologically fit to be farm raised.  However, the same does not apply to the emerald shiner as it’s a wild caught baitfish.

Shawn McWhorter, aquaculture specialist and research associate, works at the Bowling Green Satellite Aquaculture center.  McWhorter’s research focuses on enhancing the practice of fish farming and the development of bait fish.

Found out more about the research development in the following video.

Bait Fish In Ohio from Black Swamp Journal on Vimeo.

A local research center in Bowling Green, Ohio is researching better ways to produce bait fish. This will help to decrease the amount of bait fish being imported from other states.


Ohio’s Fish Farming Potential

People may think of chickens, pigs or cows when thinking of farm animals.  But here in Ohio, fish are increasing the farm animal choice.

Over the last decade there has been an annual increase in the number of fish farms in Ohio.  In 1998 there were 33 farms in Ohio.  Recently, the Census of Aquaculture predicted over 200 fish farms in Ohio.  And the opportunities only keep growing.

With consumers looking for a healthier diet, more people are turning to fish and no longer looking at poultry as their only choice of lean protein.  The good fish oils are important nutritionally.  The more people hear about this, the more fish they consume.

The U.S. Economic Research Service said, on average, Americans are eating four pounds more fish per year now than they did in the 1970s.  Global fish consumption has risen to a record of almost 17 kilograms a person.

The rising global demand for fish and concerns over depleting ocean stocks have increased the demand for farmed fish.  According to reports by the FAO., aquaculture now makes up 46 percent of the world’s food-fish supply, up from 43 percent in 2006.

View Fish Farms in Ohio in a larger map

As the numbers continue to increase, even more farmers are interested in starting a fish farm of their own.  Before starting a fish farm, one must be aware of the fact that they will have to spend a pretty penny and have a lot of patience.  As a co-owner of Remlinger Farm in Kalida, Ohio, Mark Remlinger is familiar with the process of starting a fish farm.

“It is very expensive and risky form of agriculture.  Aquaculture involves capital investment, daily labor, and management and above all, risk,” Remlinger said.

Bait fish at Bowling Green's Satellite Aquaculture Center. Photo By: Saisha Gailliard

Many times, people interested in aquaculture are looking for an enterprise with low initial investment.  “Aquaculture can be a very capital intensive business.  People that just get into the business for the money usually don’t like it,” explained Remlinger.

To help Ohio farmers learn more about aquaculture, Ohio State University has established a research program.

“We deal with the very specific problems that people within the industry have that they can not answer for themselves,” said Laura Tiu, an aquaculture specialist at Ohio Center for Aquaculture Research and Development (OCARD).

Currently, some of the top research projects involve addressing issues with raising baitfish, bluegill and yellow perch.  Another program has produced two improved lines of perch.  OCARD expects for the program aims to increase aquaculture production and efficiency of perch and the bluegill by 30 to 50 percent by developing genetically improved brood stocks.

Such information can be very helpful for someone like David Smith, president of Freshwater Farms of Ohio, in Urbana, Ohio.

“Were constantly hearing information about new research.  Even though we’ve been around since the 80 s,  we’re always looking for ways on how to improve,” said Smith.

From the very beginning, Smith and his family knew there was potential in the aquaculture industry.

“A lot of people look to coastal areas to raise fish, but I decided that the best way to expand was in freshwater farming.  And throughout the years, many people have started to do the same thing,” said Smith, who has a doctorate in fish nutrition.

Not only looking at the success of his business, but also the growth of aquaculture in Ohio, Smith is convinced things will only continue to improve for aquaculture.

And yet, many people are concerned that there maybe too much growth occurring within aquaculture.

The Growth faces Limits

As aquaculture is constantly growing, reports state there is a downfall to having a high demand for fish.  In February of this year,The International Herald Tribune reported on studies by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) finding that aquaculture cannot continue growing indefinitely at its current pace.   According to reports from the FAO. there has been an annual increase of 6.6 percent of production volume from 1970 to 2008.  And over this period, the global per capita supply of farm raised fish rose from 0.7 kilograms to 7.8 kilograms.  In response to this, Kevern Cochrane, director of the FAO’s resources use and conservation division, released a statement explaining that the U.S. is “going to run into constraints, in terms of space availability, water availability- particularly fresh water- and also environmental aspects and supply of food.”

To keep up with the high global demand for fish, production will have to double.  Aquaculture has the potential to fulfill such high demand.  With aquaculture, fish can be raised in tanks, ponds, oceans, lakes or even rivers.  More technology is making it more convenient for farmers to raise fish both indoors and outdoors.  Buying equipment to raise fish indoors, such as tanks, can be expensive, but it allows farmers to raise fish throughout the entire year.  Usually farmers who only have an outdoor pond are limited to raising fish in the early spring to late fall season.

Environmental Concerns

With aquaculture on the rise, environmentalists are concerned about the effects of fish farming.  According to the Environmental Defense Fund, some of these concerns include the pollution of local waterways with waste and antibiotics and the transfer of parasites from farmed to wild fish.  And despite the high demand for fish, environmentalists are still concerned about the effects that aquaculture has on the environment.

The fish feed has become a major concern.  Fish farms use feed made from fish oil or fishmeal.  Many times small fish is caught at sea and fed to bigger fish raised on farms.  There is concern that fish farming is depleting the oceans level of wild fish instead of easing the problem.

In consideration of this, more farmers in Ohio are using more grain-based diets to feed their farmed raised fish.  Doing so is not only beneficial to the wild fish population but is also a money saver for farmers.  Globally there is a high demand for fish feed.  Due to this demand, the price of fish feed has tripled in the last 10 years.  A lot more farmers are learning how to use the fish oil and fishmeal more efficiently.

Dave Smith of Ohio’s Freshwater Farms feeds more grain-based diets to his fish as the high price of diesel has made catching wild fish more difficult.

“It takes a lot of energy to go out and catch wild fish and wild shrimp.  It takes 50 calories of fuel energy to catch one calorie of shrimp and takes a tenth of this to raise fish on a farm,” explained Smith.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources requires permits for transportation of fish and other marine species.  This protects the state’s natural resources.  Without such regulations from the ODNR a non-native species could be released from a fish farm and could compete with a native species and threaten its survival.  The Ohio Department of Aquaculture works closely with the ODNR to prevent the spread of a fish disease, known as viral hemorrhagic septicemia, or VHS, in both farmed and wild species.  Constant monitoring is necessary to prevent the spread of the disease.

A recirculating water system at BG's aquaculture center. Photo By: Saisha Gailliard

Recirculating water systems have also been another way for fish farming to practice sustainability.  Shawn McWhorter, research associate and aquaculture specialist for OCARD, uses recirculating systems for the fish at Bowling Green’s aquaculture center.

“With recirculating systems, we’re adding in what we need and we’re taking out what we don’t,” McWhorter explained.

The biggest benefit of the recirculating system is it’s smaller water footprint.  The closed-loop production systems continuously filter and recycle water.

Shawn McWhorter feeding fish placed in a recirculating water system. Photo By: Saisha Gailliard

“With the systems we’re using less water and able to control waste streams much better than we can with a pond, so it’s more environmentally friendly,” said McWhorter.










Slow Food works to change the way we think

“Changing the Way We Eat” on February 12 had the Maumee Valley Chapter of Slow Food inviting people to a potluck and a meeting that broadcast throughout the nation on the importance of healthy eating practices.

Greg Fondon tasted some of the culinary creations. Photo by Alesia Hill.

Slow food is an organization that started in Italy about 25 years ago.

“It was started by a group of students that were protesting American fast food restaurants being built in Italy,” said Lucy Long, a professor at Bowling Green State University and the cofounder of the Maumee Valley chapter of Slow Food.

According to Long the Italian founders of Slow Food didn’t have a problem with hamburger joints but they did have a problem with the attitudes that the American fast food industry promoted with its customers.

“They were very concerned that American fast food represented all these attitudes that food was simply for fuel and that they didn’t really care about the quality or where it came from,” Long said.

Since its creation Slow Food has spread from Italy to the United States with the first chapter starting in New York. Originally the American version of Slow Food focused mostly on eating good food, even gourmet food. According to Long it has slowly started to focus on the other aspects of the originally organization: fairness in the industry and a clean environment where the food is grown and prepared.

Long said there are two parts to Slow Food’s view on clean food, having a clean environment and farming practices that are sustainable and having a clean atmosphere where the food is prepared.

Lucy Long, event organizer, spoke with members of the Maumee Valley Unitarian Church. Photo by Alesia Hill.

“You don’t want to be eating something and have it be prepared by someone who is sick but too poor to stay home today, and actually that’s a huge problem in the
United States. Something like 60 percent of the food workers in the fast food industry are actually sick at work,” Long said.

Because of its clean food pledge the Slow Food movement also strives environmentally sustainable.

“You don’t want to eat the very last fish in the sea because you like to eat fish so you want to use environmentally sustainable practices,” Long said.

According to Long, American culture is very focused on the science aspect of agriculture, as shown through the use of genetically altered crops to increase the amount of crops harvested every year.  Corn is one of these crops and is one of the biggest products of Northwest Ohio.

It isn’t unheard of viruses hitting plants. In Ireland people’s main staple was potatoes. “In the 1800s, there were three different blights of potatoes, and millions of people starved. So in the long run, it’s not healthy for us, and its not healthy for the environment either,” Long said.

Attendees mingle at the "Changing the Way We Eat" event on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Maumee Valley Unitarian Church in Bowling Green, Ohio. The daylong meeting and potluck was sponsored by Slow Food Maumee Valley. Photo by Alesia Hill.

Attendees mingle at the “Changing the Way We Eat” event on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Maumee Valley Unitarian Church in Bowling Green, Ohio. The daylong meeting and potluck was sponsored by Slow Food Maumee Valley. Photo by Alesia Hill.

is another aspect associated with Slow Food.  If the food that is going into the body is healthy and clean, people will also be taking nutritional value into account.

Dietary guidelines tell Americans that fat in the diet is bad. “We’ve got too much fat and sugar in our diet. But it’s a lot more complicated than that as far as the fat is concerned because some fats are beneficial,” said Chris Patterson, a retired dietician attending the Slow Food event.

Patterson believes that the United States dietary guidelines places too much emphasis on reducing fat, without considering what kind of fat.

“Even though skim milk is what they use to fatten pigs, skim milk is what they have in schools and they think that it’s going to make kids skinny,” Patterson said. “It’s not going to happen.

Karen Lyke is a professor at Hawthorne University who teaches courses in Holistic Nutrition.

“In these courses the students study many different ways of eating and come to something that is meaningful to them,” Lyke said.

Slow Food ties together nutrition, the environment, and fair labor practices in one movement that is slowly working for change in the United States.

“This isn’t a political movement. We’re not trying to get people to vote for someone or to support some special measure. We just want to get people thinking,” Long said.


Are GMOs Really Dangerous?

Almost everything that we consume has been genetically altered in one way or another, which makes it nearly impossible to have a diet that is completely free of genetically modified foods.
Many have begun to protest the amount of genetically modified foods that people are consuming.  Some say they are dangerous and will affect us in ways that we won’t see for years to come. Others believe that they are completely harmless, and quite necessary in order to help feed the world’s growing population. So are GMOs really as dangerous as some make them out to be?

“They’re not that big of a deal,” said Craig Wessels, a teacher at Perkins High School in Sandusky, Ohio said.  “We’ve been hybridizing stuff for years. Nothing’s like how it used to be.”

Wessels teaches a Global Issues class where a large portion of his lesson plan focuses on educating his students on genetically modified organisms.

“Ideally it would be great to grow everything organically, but it’s not terribly practical,” he said.
At Bowling Green State University, the Vegetarian Club works to help educate fellow students about sustainable foods. Though the club’s main concern is not eating meat, members discuss food and educate each other on genetically modified foods. A few weeks ago, the club showed a movie called “Fresh” in the Bowen Thompson Student Union Theater. The film talked about agriculture, including genetically modified foods.

Miriam Hitchcock, president of the Vegetarian Club doubts it’s a good idea to use GMOs. Hitchcock and other members of the club take trips to different stores to buy organic foods t that are free of genetic modification.
“We shop a lot at Squeaker’s, or Kroger,” she said. “We also shop at the farmers’ market when it’s open during the school year, and Whole Foods in Ann Arbor.”
Squeaker’s, an organic café and health food store located in downtown Bowling Green, is a place for students to purchase organic food that is not far from campus.

Schlessman Seed Co., the largest seed company in Ohio, celebrates its 95th anniversary this year. (Photo by Hannah Mingus)

Sclessman Seeds- A close to home example of genetic modification

Schlessman Seed Co., the largest seed company in Ohio, has been modifying its seeds for nearly 100 years. The company is best known for its corn hybrids.
According to its web site, the company has made several agreements with other companies who already have already advanced their technology, and produced new genetically enhanced hybrids. Farmers are now able to grow weed- and insect-free crops with this new seed, all while improving the environment and increasing efficiency, the company says.
Besides corn, the company produces soybeans, wheat and popcorn seeds as well. Schlessman grows two types of seed corn -field and sweet. Field corn is mainly produced for livestock feed and ethanol, while sweet corn is what people eat.

“In the 1920s people said hybrid seed was dangerous and people would die, but 99 percent of the market stayed at hybrid,” said   Darryl Deering, president of Schlessman Seed Co. “In 1995, there was the first genetically modified seed, and today 80 percent of corn is genetically engineered. There’s not one time when someone became ill or injured.”

According to the Ohio State Extension and Purdue Extension Partnership, non-GMO growers run the risk of having their crops contaminated by genetically modified pollen. According to Peter Thomison, an agronomist of the Ohio State University Extension, “pollen drift” is a growing concern among farmers who grow strictly organic food. He said it would take a lot of coordination between the two types of farmers to make this effective

Deering said recently farmers have been shying away from genetically modified seeds, but

Schlessman Seed Co. not only produces seeds, but also has its own local brand of popcorn in Ohio and Pa. (Photo by Hannah Mingus)

it  has not affected his company. He explained that there is an extra cost to use genetically engineered seed, and some farmers just cannot justify the extra money. In areas that contain fewer pests, these crops are just as good without the genetically modified traits. In other places insects, they attack crops that have not been modified. This is why most farmers prefer the genetically modified seeds, he said.

Deering believes that without GMOs, the world food supply would go away.
“We’d all be skinny,” he said. “Organic production is so labor intensive, so many would have to go back to the farm.”

Darryl Deering gives some background on Schlessman Seed Co.

More Organic…Please.


The annual growth of the billion-dollar organic food industry is reaching college and university campuses.  However, there is only a pinch of organic food on Bowling Green State University’s campus.

Bowling Green students have a very limited range of organic products to choose on campus.  At university food stores, such as Outtakes, the only organic products include small organic pizza, milk, cereals and dried cherries.  In the dinning areas the same products are available, however serving organic food to students is something that BGSU dinning services is still working on.

BGSU Dining Director, Micheal Paulus said the university’s organic offerings are limited, mostly due to the cost of product.

“Most students are resistant to the increased price point of pure organic offerings,” he said.

Organic products can be very pricey.  The high cost has a lot to do with the practices of organic farming and government regulations.  Organic farmers have to take extra precautions due to USDA regulations by the National Organic Program.  However, as many people are aware of the high costs of organic food they are rarely aware of the difference in taste.

Bowling Green sophomore, Eric Smuda, a bio engineering major, has put the idea of there being little taste difference to his list of reasons to not buy organic food.  “Spending extra money on organic food, when it tastes just like any other regularly grown food, just doesn’t seem necessary to me,” Smuda said.

And he may have a point.  If taste difference is the only thing that Bowling Green students are looking forward to getting out of organic food, then they may be in for a heap of disappointment.  The International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) is a nonpartisan foundation that works to effectively educate the public with its science-based information about nutrition, health and food safety.  According to the 2007 Food & Health Survey, published by the (IFIC), when Americans were asked what had the greatest impact on the food they select, taste was ranked the highest (88 percent).  Price was ranked second (72 percent).

Over the last few years, there hasn’t been conclusive evidence that organic food is more nutritious than conventionally grown food.  The USDA couldn’t even claim organic food is safer or more nutritious.  Besides recent results of there being higher levels of Vitamin C in organic strawberries, there isn’t too much for evidence for consumers to depend on in this area.

With a scarce amount of organic food available on campus, it puts students in a position to spend even more money.  Every student living on campus is required to have a meal plan, at least $1,475 per semester.  But what about students who want organic food?  Living on campus, they could use their meal plans and sacrifice their organic diets or go to a local grocery, buy organic produce then be left with about a thousand dollars worth of meal plan by the end of the semester that just goes to waste.

Amanda McGuire Rzicnek, an instructor for Bowling Green’s General Studies Writing Program, has focused classes on the study of food products, including organic foods.  As an organic produce consumer herself, Rzicnek understands how hard it can be eating organic foods.  Everyday she brings her organic lunch to campus with her, knowing that she will not be able to go home and eat.  However, things are not quiet as simple for students living on campus.

“It’s horrible because they are paying for the meal plan, so why would they go to Meijer to buy organic food?  And organic food, most of the time, is a lot more expensive than buying regular food.  So they are in a catch 22,” said Rzicnek.

A catch 22 is definitely something sophomore, Lin-Z Kay Tello is in.  Tello has the option of  getting organic foods from local groceries such as Meijer and Kroger.  However, along with the extra money she would have to spend, the trip alone can be inconvenient for students.

“It’s kind of hard to get to some of those places because I have to go out and get my car just to get to the store and then can’t use the meal plan, so its kind of a hassle right now,” explained Tello.

Tello was a student in Rznicnek’s class her freshman year.  In the class she researched and wrote about organic foods, and she eventually became an environmental science major.  “That class changed my life,” she said.  “It just really got me thinking about the impact I have on the environment through my eating habits.”

As much as Tello wants to be an advocate consumer of organic foods, living on campus has made it hard for her to do so.

“I’ve basically kind of put it off until I’m older and live off campus and I’ll be able to go to supermarkets and actually purchase organic foods,” Tello said.

The struggle to find organic food on campus is something that Bowling Green senior, Lindsay Conway can relate to.

“Living off-campus makes a really big difference,” she said.  “When on campus, it’s unfortunate, but it’s like you can’t even really have an organic diet.  Lets just say if you do, you’ll probably starve.”

Recently Bowling Green’s dining service has made changes to its menus in the dining halls and mini markets to be more nutritional, however, maybe its time for the university to start making larger strides towards providing organic for their students.  USA Today reported on a project called the Yale Sustainable Food Project, which is embracing the organic life of Yale students.  For the last eight years, the project encourages students and school staff to visit farms to see how the food is grown in an ecologically friendly manner.  Yale’s dining service makes organic food available as well.  Yale is not the only university following the organic trend on its campus.  There is also Williams College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Rutgers University, just to name a few.

BGSU’s dining services does plan to make steps towards providing a little more organic on campus.

“Dining services does plan to increase organic offerings next year with the inclusion of Pinkberry frozen yogurt within the new Commons dinning center,” Paulus said.

Pinkberry frozen yogurt is a healthy of frozen yogurt with a few choices of organic toppings.  However, the frozen yogurt is not organic.

Dinning Services plans to feature more  “local” produce thru its continued development of relationship with local growers.  Dinning services first step in this direction was with its first annual on-campus Farmers market.

Many students were present at the on-campus Farmers market.  Bowling Green senior, Lindsey Conway was present.  “The market was a wonderful idea, especially the fact that they made things even more convenient for students by accepting their BG1 cards,” she said.  “That was great.”

Having an annual farmers market may be one of the best steps to making sure the campus provides more organic opportunities for on campus students.  But to keep such organic lifestyles happening on campus.  Rizicnek knows there is one thing that must happen.

“The only people that can solve this is Dining Services and I think the only way for that to happen is for students to say what it is that they want, cause they are ultimately paying BG to provide a service,” says Rzicnek.



Thinking of Going Organic?

Places Where You Can Find Organic on Campus:  Outtakes at Founders, Kreisher and Offenhauer.  Products Include: organic milk, cereal, frozen foods and dry cherries.

Spend your food dollars wisely.  BGSU’s Diabetic’s Program presented a list of foods with the highest levels of toxin residues.  They advice for people to purchase organic versions of these foods when possible.

  • Peaches, Nectarines & Apricots
  • Apples & Pears
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Imported Grapes
  • Spinach & Lettuce
  • Potatoes & Carrots
  • Milk & Beef
  • Peanut Butter
  • Baby Food

A Closer Look at BGSU “Green” Dining Services

Kreischer Sundial

Just how “green” are Bowling Green State University Dining Services?

Some of the major projects students may notice are the two dining facilities under construction. They are silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified free standing dining facilities. LEED is a national system of ranking buildings based on their environmental impact, design, construction, operation and management recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council. According to the Division of Students Affairs Report for 2009-2010 once construction is finished at McDonald Dining, BGSU could potentially be the first university to have a free standing LEED certified cafeteria in the nation. Another accomplishment of dining services sustainability is the conversion of used fryer oil to be used as bio-fuel in campus shuttle buses.

“Right now we’re at a fryer oil surplus,” said Mike Paulus the Director of BGSU Dining Services. “We have 4,400 hundred gallons,” said Paulus. “We’ve ordered a brand new diesel truck to be converted locally to bio-fuel.”

While these new additions are helping to make the university more sustainable, smaller changes could be made as well.

“If you fix all of the small stuff it would make a big difference,” said Jonathan Zachrich an undergraduate student government representative from the Dining Advisory Board.

For example Zachrich said people are needlessly using to-go boxes when they are dining in. He said hanging signs explaining why customers should not do this would be helpful.

“It’s a big problem it happens a lot in Mac and Founders,” said Zachrich.

“They could do more talking to students, asking ‘Do you really need a to-go box?’” Zachrich said.

Students dining-in

Paulus realizes the problem and says it’s wasteful to purchase take-out boxes when students are not using them for the right purpose. Every box cost 34 cents to purchase.

“If you don’t need it don’t waste it,” Paulus said.

Despite the unnecessary use of take-out boxes they are bio-degradable.


“Dining Services has eliminated 97 percent of all the take-out boxes made out of foam,” Paulus said. All of the new take-out boxes are made out of sugarcane. If you throw it away, within 90 days it will compost to nothing.”

Bio-degradable take-out boxes

Napkins got an eco-friendly boost as well. They are biodegradable and are made out of 80 percent recycled materials.

Zachrich isn’t the only one with some constructive criticism. Gary Silverman the Director of the Department of Environmental Sustainability only eats at the Student Union and has noticed one irritating problem he thinks is an easy fix.

“The union still makes it difficult for customers,” said Silverman. “When I want a piece of pizza I have to work to get a non-disposable plate. I’m always able to find one, but it takes 10 minutes. It’s not a convenient option.”

Paulus said this issue will be corrected in the brand new MacDonald Dining that will be opening this fall. The new dining facility will only have china because customers can only eat in. A few other amenities will include collecting rain water that falls on the roof and using it in the facility’s low-flush toilets.

“Recycled barn wood from Ohio will be used for the tables and customers will be able to tell which barn the wood came from,” Paulus said.

Reducing paper waste is also one of the things that dining services has been trying to do.

LCD televisions reduce paper waste

“We used to waste so much by printing specials of the day and menu boards,” Paulus said. “Now we use LCD televisions as our menu boards. Using technology to serve as a menu board enables the campus commitment to sustainability.”

One new way of helping to accomplish this is through QR stamps. Paulus said there are little square images similar to a barcode displayed on LCD’s. Customers with smart phones can take a picture of the barcode similar to scanning it. Then your phone will automatically go to the webpage linked to the code.

“This reduces paper waste and eases communication with students. In the first week we got 8,000 hits,” Paulus said.

While BGSU dining seems green lets compare it to another school 90 miles away. Oberin College was listed as one of the “12 Most Healthy and Sustainable College Cafeterias,” by The Daily Green. Oberlin has curbed waste by purchasing 45 percent of food from local sources. Students have the opportunity to meet local farmers and growers at fairs.  Cafeterias have been tray less since 2008, helping to decrease food waste, energy and water use spent by washing tray’s daily.

The colleges’ two main dining facilities composted 21,500 pounds of kitchen scrap. All raw food kitchen prep was composed as well and the school uses bio-degradable packing.

It’s important to note when comparing the two universities that BGSU has a larger student population. Oberlin has 2,888 students and tuition is higher at $41,577 dollars.

BGSU Dining is owned by Chartwells a branch of Compass Group. Compass Group is the largest contract food service in the world. They also have a focus on promoting sustainability.

Zachrich knows that the university can do more to compete with other schools level of sustainability.

“It’s a continuous problem, trying to solve one problem and three more pop up. It’s tough.”

Zachrich welcomes anyone interested in helping to keep BGSU dining services sustainable should come to the Dining Advisory Board meetings. There is an outlet, students just need to take advantage of it if they want to see more change.

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