Video: Making bread while reducing waste is Dining Services’ recipe for sustainability

At home, they’re called leftovers. In the parlance of Bates Dining Services, they’re called “extras.”

Either way, having food remaining after a meal is the reality of any dining experience, especially when you’re serving, as Bates does, thousands of meals every day.

Used to be that Bates Dining Services sent hot cereal leftovers, along with the rest of the college’s post-consumer food waste, to a local pig farm.

Now, thanks to recipes created by Dining Services baker Elizabeth Mersereau-Sears, the college uses cereal leftovers to make fresh bread.

Hot oatmeal becomes honey oat bread. Ancient grain cereal becomes ancient grain vegan bread. Grits turn into cheesy grits bread.

The new program reduces hot-cereal waste by 75 pounds a week.

“At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of the month, at the end of the year — the impact is just huge,” says Mersereau-Sears.

3 Responses to “Video: Making bread while reducing waste is Dining Services’ recipe for sustainability”

  1. Sandra Folcik Levine '60 says:

    I am absolutely delighted that your cook staff came up with the idea of turning left-over hot cereal into bread. Man-oh-man – -how I would love to be eating in this dining room for a whole semester or year. Such a far cry – -a different world – -from the dining services we had a half century ago. I’m proud of you, Bates!

  2. Peter Lavallee says:

    Elizabeth you had me sold way before you spread that piece of homemade bread with the butter. Kudos to you for finding more ways to reduce the waste going off the Bates campus. Can I stop by for some of that bread ?

    Peter Lavallee spouse of Claire Lavallee Retired CSA Office

  3. Cindy Larock (Bates '75) says:

    What a fabulous story (both the written version and the video)! Thanks for sharing it.

    I’ve always been a fan of Bates food. Now I appreciate it that much more. (And am wondering if/when the Den has that Cheesy Grits bread on the menu…)

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