Carolina Alumni Review 35
In the spring, CDS was waiting to finish out 2013-14 and then look at whether
the tracking figure changed. Once it had
that answer, it planned to meet with the
University to set sustainability goals for
2014-15, which likely will include taking
steps to ratchet the year-round number
above 20 percent.
To the fork
Jeff Edwards arrived at Lenoir before
dawn one morning last spring and pulled
several trays of pork shoulder out of a walk-in refrigerator. He had four hours to whip
up 65 pounds of eastern North Carolina
barbecue using pork from Firsthand Foods
before the lunch crowd started lining up.
On most days, the barbecue sells out.
“Using a local pig compared to an in-
dustrially raised hog is like night and day.
The pork just tastes fresher,” Edwards said.
“Eating this type of pork is what our par-
ents and our grandparents would be used
to, before commercial farming took ahold
It’s not just the pork that has foodies
gobbling up dishes at 1. 5.0. Edwards brings
decades of experience in fine dining to
his menu. FreshPoint gives him a cheddar
cheese from The Cultured Cow Creamery
in Durham to make pimento cheese served
on sourdough with tomato soup. And he
uses antibiotic- and growth-hormone-free
chicken from the Blue Ridge mountains to
make chicken salad wraps.
1. 5.0. grew out of CDS’s relationship
with FLO. The food-service provider
was looking for a way to demonstrate its
commitment to buying local, and the students wanted to raise awareness about the
impacts of large-scale food production. So
the two came up with a restaurant concept
that promotes local, sustainable and organic foods at a price students can afford.
It’s popular in terms of how much food
it sells. As far as profit goes, it’s more about
breaking even. It competes with cheaper,
better-known options such as Subway.
And the meats and ingredients are more
expensive than conventional options. Even
so, 1. 5.0. is a novel concept, and one that
CDS says is here to stay, as seems the local
food movement in general.
Scavo also is involved with Sonder
Market, a group of students who are trying
to open a student-run grocery on campus.
UNC is known by some as a food desert,
a term more often associated with low-income communities that don’t have walking access to the nutritious foods found in
a full-service grocery. Sonder is looking
for a location and drafting a business plan.
“There’s a certain generation that cares
more about what goes into their bodies
and the compassion shown toward the land
and the animals,” Edwards said. “Yes, I’m
going to eat this animal, but where did
it come from and who raised it? I didn’t
think that way when I was young.”
Brian Freskos is a senior majoring in journalism and mass communication and an editorial
intern for the Review.
food insights on his blog, wastedfood.com.
“I started the book as a journalist and
finished it as more of an activist,” Bloom
said. “Right now, I’m balancing the two,
or trying to. And at times, that balance can
be a bit tenuous.”
Bloom’s book grew out of his master’s
project at UNC’s School of Journalism and
Mass Communication. In it he chronicles
how America’s food system has evolved
into a culture that incentivizes profligate
squandering. He takes readers on a journey
across the country, from farms to people’s
kitchens, revealing an industrial supply
chain prone to waste at every step.
Despite growing recognition of the
consequences of wasting food, Bloom says,
the rate of waste production remains stag-
nant. “The short answer is no, we haven’t
gotten any better,” Bloom said. “But what
has improved is the amount of attention
and interest in the topic.”
Food waste has been a subject of advo-
cacy in recent years as universities strive
to reduce energy costs and environmental
footprints. To better forecast future pur-
chasing, Carolina Dining Services tracks
how much food students eat. Its shift to
trayless dining saves 144,000 gallons of wa-
ter every year, and it plans to expand front-
of-the-house composting. It donates food
that isn’t served to students to Carrboro’s
Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.
Bloom said Carolina’s sustainability
practices put it ahead of the curve, particularly in regard to food recovery and
composting. But there are still ways to
improve. He would like to see CDS shift
from an all-you-can-eat plan to an a la
carte model, for instance.
Bloom said a lot of activism focuses on
recycling. But people also should be trying
to cut the amount of waste they produce in
the first place. “There’s that whole ‘Reduce,
Reuse, Recycle’ mantra that everyone has
probably heard of. There’s a reason reduce is
first,” Bloom said. “But it’s also the hardest
because it asks us to change our behavior,
and it turns out we’re not that good at that.”
— Brian Freskos
When Waste Is the Cost of Doing Business
When Jonathan Bloom ’06 (MA) took a job scooping fries at McDonald’s,
he didn’t volunteer that he held a master’s
degree from Carolina. This wasn’t a position he planned to keep.
Bloom was working on a nonfiction
book about food waste and wanted to find
out how the fast-food industry contributed
to the problem. He got a behind-the-scenes look into how the assembly-line
system is rife with waste, with tons of perfectly edible food winding up in the trash.
“I found that a lot of folks didn’t know
much about the food they weren’t using
because it was just background noise,”
Bloom said. “I was surprised by the phrase,
‘It’s just the cost of doing business,’ and
that came up so often.”
American Wasteland, released in 2010,
burnished Bloom’s credentials as an expert
on our waste-riven food system. He has
given talks at Carolina and other universities, been heard on NPR and had work
appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He offers