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.

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