UBC Undergraduate Research

The UBC Food system : assessing sustainability Sham, Josephine; Wijono, Theresia; Brocklesby, Chris; Lawseth, Andrea; Dunkley, Carla; Ngan, Amy; Hung, Shiu-Kay; J-Cactas Consulting 2003-04-02

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student Report       The UBC Food System: Assessing Sustainability J-CACTAS Consulting Josephine Sham, Theresia Wijono, Chris Brocklesby, Andrea Lawseth, Carla Dunkley, Amy Ngan, Shiu-Kay Hung  University of British Columbia AGSC 450 April 2, 2003           Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.  The UBC Food System: Assessing Sustainability   J-CACTAS Consulting   AGSC 450 April 2, 2003      GROUP 10 J osephine Sham Theresia Wij ono Chris Brocklesb y Andrea La wseth Carla Dunkle y Am y Ngan Shiu -Ka y Hun g      3  The UBC Food System: Assessing Sustainability Abstract  Our obj ect i ve is to devel op a resear ch proposa l for the assess ment of UBC's food sys t em sus t ai nabili t y. We des i gned a model of the UBC food syst em sust ainabi li t y conti nuum, ranki ng input s, wast es and the UBC far m from unsust ainabl e to sus tai nable. In order to measur e UBC's cur r ent food syst em, we adapt ed and cr eat ed indi cat or s for three f ocus area s of study. The focus was place d on ecol ogi cal , economi ca l and soci al sus tai nabil it y. The impl ement at i on of these indica tor s wil l all ow res ear chers to asse ss UBC's food syst em quanti tati vel y and qual it at ivel y in order to identi f y the progr es s to s ust ai nabi li t y.  Introduction W e would like to thank UBC for choosi ng J . CAC TAS (J osephine, Chris, Am y, Carl a, Theresia, And re a and Shiu -Ka y) Consul ti ng. We are a mul ti discipl inar y gro up of graduati n g students from the UBC facult y of agri cult ural scie nces. We pride ours elves in our diverse back grounds ran gin g fro m agro ecolo g y to dietetic s, which enables us to pr ovide a well -round ed assessment of the UBC food s ystem.   The general problem was determining what we considered to be ‘sustainable’ in the context o f the UBC food s ystem. We identified the imprac ti cali t y of UBC eve r bec omi ng compl etel y sust ainable. This is due to the fact that in ord er to feed the populati on of ov er 40,000 at UBC (U BC , 2002), we would require a lar ge area of land, an infrastructur e fo r proc essi ng wastes, and an impracti cal amount of capit al. Furthermor e, we id enti fied the difficult y in ensuring a st ead y and reli able suppl y of accept able foods within the loc al communi t y as a lar ge s tum bli ng block. Therefo re, our m ain conc ern was to ensu re that the UBC food s ystem could be as sust ainable as possi ble. In ord er to acco mpl ish this, our consul ti ng firm d esign ed a model conti nuum, a conti nuum that will all ow us to determine the curr ent state of the UBC food s ystem an d track the pro gress towards sust ainabili t y fo r future ye ars. Map of the Current UBC Food System Befo re a mod el could be designed to assess sust ai nabil it y, we needed to d efine the UBC food s ystem. We decided to take an input /out put approach to an al yz in g the current UBC food  4  system (App endix 1). We will outl ine the input s, output s, nutrient cycli n g and rec yc li ng s ystems present at UBC.    In te rms of input s, the UBC food suppl y consi sts of foods from loc al, national and global suppl iers.  UBC Farm thr ough the UBC Co -op and the UBC Mark et Ga rden is an ex ampl e of a local food suppl ier.  UBC Far m produces food crops fo r the Alma Mater Soci et y Food and Bev era ge Se rvices. Thes e food sup pli es then feed int o two branches:   1. Campus Food Sources .  These ar e made up of all food vendors and ou tl e ts operati ng on th e UBC Campus , as well as the UBC Vill age.  Thes e inclu de:   1.  Vending m achines  2.  UBC Caterin g fo r special meeti ngs and conf eren ce s  3.  Alma Mater Societ y Foo d and Be ver a ge se rvices such as the Pendulum , an d Pie R Square 4.  UBC Food s ervices su ch as the cafeteri as in the UBC residen ces, the Snack bars, and the Mr. Tubesteak stand outs ide of Koern er Libr ar y  5.  The UBC Village including McDonalds, International Food Fair, Benny’s Bagels and One More Sushi  6.  The food servi ces av ail a ble at the Fr aternit y Hous es  7.  The kiosk s operated b y t he various unde r gradu ate societi es.     2. Private Food Sourc es . These ar e made up of all the foods that students or staff members bring onto campus in the form of private lunch es, dinner s or snacks.   In te rms of nutrient c ycli ng, UBC has two diff ere nt s ystems in place: the human -structured compos ti ng and rec ycli n g s ystem, and the natural nutrient cyc li ng s ystem. The AMS Food and Beve ra ge Service and the UBC Food Se rvice outl e ts parti cipate in the rec yc li ng and compos ti n g programs on campus . This food waste is rec ycled back to UBC Farm as inpu ts into the food s ystem to grow crops, which is t hen resold to the AMS Food and Bever a ge se rvic e.  In theor y thi s shoul d lead to a closed nutri ent cyc le.   On another lev el som e or gani c food wast e is eaten and de grad ed b y rod ents, birds, insects and bacte ria. Nutrients fr om this natural form of rec ycli n g ar e released and returned to the soil.    5  In te rms of output s, the UBC Food s ystem produ ces waste, nut rients, rec yclable materi al, and food products. As m enti oned above, UBC pro duces food crops that are sold back to the AMS Food and Bev era ge servi ce as well as to the local members in the comm unit y throu gh Saturda y farmers’ markets. Waste that is not recycled or composted leaves UBC and go es to the land fill outsi de of UBC. In addit ion, UBC does not hav e its own rec ycli n g plant; th erefo re, mate rial wil l leave the UBC s ystem in order to be rec ycl ed. In t heor y, new products will be formed and return ed to UBC to close the loop. (   Model of the UBC Food System Sustainability Continuum  Once the conceptu al map of the UBC food s ystem had been decided upon, a model to act as a ref eren ce in the assess ment of the state of sust a inabili t y was con ceptuali z ed. A linear conti nuum model was chosen to repr esent the pro gr essi on fro m unsustainable to sust ainable (Appen dix 2). The point s of and in between, are nam ed and de fined.  In order to do an adequ ate assessment, the food s ystem has been simpl ified int o three components tha t s ymbol i z e the whole. These thr ee components are th e input s, the wastes, and the farm. Inputs are de fined as resour ces ne eded to ru n the food servic e s ystem, i.e. foodst uffs, wat er, power and lab our. The wastes are s een as the mai n output s of the system, i .e. garba ge, poll uti on, rec ycli n g and compos t. Whil e it can be ar gued th at the farm is an input, it is a beli ef that it is an int egr al and sep arate co mponent of the food s ystem that has an effe ct on sustainabil it y.   Assessi ng the sustainabil it y of these parts all ows one to then ex trapolate to the whole   . However not ing that in orde r for the enti re s ystem to be deeme d sust ainable, it is a requirement that all com ponents be on the same point on the conti nuum    6  The decisi on to adopt thi s gr aphic rati n g sc ale, co nsis ti ng of 5 odd number s in equal increments (1,3,5,7,9), is a result of the beli e f that thi s is one of the most objecti ve methods of evaluation (Robbi ns & Langton, 2001 ). Or ganiz at ional behavior studi es fin d that by usin g an odd number 5-point scale of equal increments, peopl e will be best able to use an appraisal fo rm in a manner which is efficient and objecti ve with mini mal ambi guit y (Robbins & Lan gton, 2001). Studi es also show that wit h thi s s ystem peopl e ar e less confused as th ere are no even numbers on the scale (Robbins & Lan gto n, 2001).    Sustainability Indicators  In order to effectively place UBC’s food system on the continuum, we need a way to evaluate how sustain able it reall y is. We hav e deci ded to accompl ish this b y choos ing appropriate ecolo gical, economi c and social indicators that we can measu re and evaluat e indi viduall y. Ecological Indicators Lands cap e Biodi ve rsit y:  Gliessman (2000) defines diversity as “…a product, a measure, and a foundation of a system’s complexity --- and therefore, of its ability to support sustainable functioning”. The more diverse a  s ystem is, the le ss vul nerable a s ystem is to pests, disease, and oth er detrimental abioti c factors. Dive rsit y can be anal yz ed in a variet y of different dimensions: spec ies, gen eti c, ve rtical, horiz ontal, structural, functi onal, and temporal (Gliessman, 2000) . Species and geneti c dive rsit y are concern ed with the numb er of spe cies and de gre e of geneti c va riabil it y wit hin an agroe cos ystem, while vertical and ho riz ontal diversit y are con ce rn ed with how these spe cie s are dist ributed amon gst the agroe cos ystem. Struc tural diversit y anal yz es the number of nich es or tr ophic roles avail abl e withi n the system or gani z ati on. Functi onal diversit y con cerns itself with th e compl ex it y of the  7  interacti ons, ene r g y flow and c ycli n g amon g the components. Temporal diversit y anal yz es the degree of hete ro geneit y of c ycli cal chan ges withi n the system.  We chose to include land scape dive rsit y as on e of our indicators bec ause we beli eve that it is a good m easur ement of ecos ystem sust ainabili t y. It is impos sible for an eco s ystem to functi on efficientl y with low level s of biodiversit y. Biodi ve rsit y is nec essar y for prot ecti on against pests and disease and the refo re fo r the reducti on of ex ternal in puts.   Since the term biodi versi t y is gene rall y re fer red to as the combi nati on of geneti c and speci es diversity, we can measure an areas’ diversity by the number of species in that given area (Gli essm an, 2000). Rand om sampl ing could be ini ti ated in man y areas of UBC in order to det ermine a gener al distribut ion of species. Plant species and anim al species wil l bot h need to be identi fied to give an approp riate me asure of sustainabil it y. Soil Quali t y:  Brady and Weil (1999) define soil quality to be “…the cap a cit y of a soil to functi on withi n (and someti mes outsi de) its ecos ystem bounda ries to sustain biological pro ducti vit y and diversit y, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant and animal health”. In order for a soil to accompl ish these thi n gs, man y fun cti ons and crite ria must be met. The soil must be able to protect ground/sur fac e wat er quali t y, protect ai r quali t y, resis t soi l erosion , protect biodiversit y, support plant producti vit y and qu ali t y, support anim al pro ducti vit y and quali t y, and provide food saf et y and compos it ion (Brad y & Weil , 1999).  The soil is the most important aspect in ecosystem health and sustainability  . If th e soil qualit y is low, then ever y oth e r aspe ct of the ecos ystem will be af fect e d. For ex ampl e, if produc ti vit y drops th en there will not be enough food t o feed all compon ents of the system. We chose to i nclude soil quali t y as an  8  indi cator bec ause the ov e rall functi oning of an agr oecos ystem re li es dir ectl y on wh ether the soil is healt h y. In order to me asure soil quali t y, we need to look at what determines a healt h y soil. Soil quali t y is aff ected b y so man y pro perties: tex ture, depth, infil trati on and bulk densit y, wate r -holdi n g capa cit y, soil or gani c ma tt er, pH, elect rical condu cti vit y, ex tractable N, P, and K, microbial biom as s C and N, potenti all y min erali z able N, and micr o - and macroo r ganism level s. This means that man y tests wil l need to be run. Students can do the majorit y of thes e tests si nce th e y are not too chall en gin g and can be i mpl emented in a soil science class. On e of the clas s acti vit ies could be to measure soil qualit y in s eparate areas of UBC. This would elim inate the nee d for outsi de input s (i.e. consul ti ng firms) and all ow for students to have hands -on ex perienc e. The result s could then be use d to measure ove rall camp us sustainabil it y.   Groundwate r and Aquif e r Quali t y:  Water quali t y can be a la rge dete rminant of healt h of the over all ecos ystem . High water quali t y is nec essar y fo r the prolifer ati on of all spe cies. Cont ami nated grou ndwater is constantl y seeping int o our watersh eds and res ervoirs ulti ma tel y affe cti ng ou r drinki n g and ir ri gati on wate r. The most detrimental co mponents in contaminated water are hi gh nit rate concentrat ions and hi gh levels of turbidi t y (cloudi ness). Hi gh nit rate lev els can rend er water und rinkable and ma y even be fatal to ver y youn g chil dren.  High tu rbidit y levels prevent sunli ght from penetrati ng int o the water, thus having a hu ge ef fect on photos ynthe sis and s urvival of natural filtering aqu ati c or ganism s (Br ad y &W eil , 1999). In Januar y 2002 turbidi t y l e vels in the GVRD wate rshed wer e so high th at residents wer e bein g advi sed by th e Societ y Promo ti ng Environmental Cons ervati on (SP EC) to boil all drinki ng wat er (SP EC, 2002).  9   We beli eve wate r quali t y to be an important indicator for sust ainabili t y. Si nce, wat er quali t y pla ys such a lar ge role in human and anim al he alt h; it is obvi ousl y a good m easurem ent of sust ainabili t y.  In me asurin g water quali t y, on e could conc entrate on nit rate levels and turb idi t y. Th e hi gher the nitrate and turbidi t y l evels withi n the drinki ng and irri gati on wate r, the l ess sus tainable the ecos ystem. Ther e shoul d be regula r tests on irri gat ion water at the UBC far m as well as on t he wat er used for drinkin g. Waste Mana gement :  UBC is making great ste ps towards a more sust ai nable food s ystem with a large emphasis on waste mana gement. The UBC Waste Mana gemen t Program h as made gr eat att empt s to improve rec ycli n g and compos ti ng resourc e s. Waste mana gem ent pla ys a particular l y lar ge role in the sust ainabili t y of a food s ys tem in man y wa ys. Th e rec yc li ng and compos ti ng of output s from food sources not onl y approp riatel y rec yc le nutrients, b ut also help to reduce th e amount of ex ternal inpu ts needed. Fo r ex ampl e, the compos ti ng of wastes can contribut e to fertili z ing flower beds and farm products without th e need to pur chase chemi cal fertili z ers. This compost ing proc ess returns man y benefici al nut rients back to the earth to com plete the nutr ient c ycli n g process.  Waste management is ob vious l y a ver y important indicator of ecos yst em healt h and sust ainabili t y. Com pletin g the nutrient and ene r g y cyc li ng process pla ys a major role in redu cing ex ternal inputs and creati ng a closed ecos ystem. A clo sed ecos ystem is hi gh l y desir able in the lon g-term go al of self-su fficie nc y. As we mentioned pr evious l y, self -sufficien c y will help UBC to maintain a sust ainable fo od s ystem.  We can measur e waste m ana gement in a numb er of wa ys. One possi bil it y is to calcu late the approx im ate amount of wastes produc ed throu gh the anal ysis of food pur c hases on campus . We can then determi ne the appro x im ate amount of wastes being rec ycl ed or compos ted and use thi s to  10  compare to wastes produ ced. The ult im ate goal is to have as much waste being re c ycled or compos ted as bein g prod uced. We do encount er a problem with the lar ge amount of wastes bein g brought ont o campus fro m private lunches and ot her sourc es. Howev er, ou r go al is to develop self-sufficiency    on campus alone an d if we can cr eate a reaso nabl y closed s ystem as far as waste man a gement is concern ed, then we ar e well on our wa y to cre a ti ng a sust ainable food s ystem.  These efforts can be used in conjunction with the UBC Waste Management Program’s att empt s. “The UBC Waste Management Office's mission is to initiate, coordinate and promote both waste and litt er reducti on through reuse, rec ycli n g and compos ti ng acti vit ies at the Universit y of British Columbia” (UBC Waste Management Program, 2003). We can work directl y with the waste mana gement pro gram to promot e rec yc li ng and co mpos ti ng campus -wide. Economic Indicators Bein g a stak eholder of fo od busi ness, the mot ivating factor is to maintain an economi call y viable busi ness.  This allows stakeholders to mak e a contribut ion to the wi der econom y and comm unit y, and also pro vide people wit h lifest yl e choices and so cial opti ons.  Economi c sust ainabili t y has man y conflicts between short te r m and long term consum pti on and investm ent in busi ness.  Moreover, sust ainabil it y requi res ini ti al capit al to begin its improvement.  The ini ti al capit al usuall y comes fro m the profit of the busi ne ss, publ ic funding, gove r nment gr ants, and acad emi c res ear ch.  To measure economi cal sus t ainabili t y, two indi cators were chosen: profit o f food busi ness and viabil it y of UBC farm. Profit of food busi ness : In food busi ness, bein g economi call y vi able is ke y to makin g a profit .  Profit can be measured b y subt r acti n g the cost of food and op er ati on from over all sales. Overall sales is defined as  the amount of the prod uct tim es the price of th e food item sol d.  The cost of food includes the  11  purchased input s, rent, ener g y costs , proc essi ng costs , labour wages, tr ansportati on costs , waste mana gement costs , and t ax es. From a sust ainable point of view , the decisi o n of investm ent should be made in lon g term.  When evaluatin g the cost of food we includ e the degradati on of the environment (i.e. poll uti on of water, buil d up of no n -de grad able waste such as plasti c and St yrofoam ) and use envir onmental accoun ti n g.     Viabil it y of UBC Farm : As menti oned befor e, the viabili t y of UBC farm depends on the potential profit (see definiti on of profit above). When calc ulating sales, the cost of food includes the purch as ed input (seeds, fertili z ers, pesti cides,  irr iga ti on cost, en er g y cost, and machine r y), wa ges o f labor, and transportati on cost.  Fro m a sustainable persp ecti ve, the viabil it y of th e far m includes not onl y the market value of the farmland and sales, but  the degr adati on of the environ ment, the cost of chemi cal pol lut ion of water, and the nitro gen loss in soi l, which can all be evaluated usin g environmental accounti n g The Social, Ecolo gical, E conomi c Developm ent St udies (SEEDS ) have alre ad y worked on man y environmental pro gr ams with the environm ental mana gement s yste m (EMS ).  These include haz ardous waste man a ge ment, chemi cal cons ervat ion or poll uti on preventi on, and environmental compl iance audit in g.  Th ese redu ce the costs relat ed to environmental de gr adati on; therefo re, increasin g the pro fit of UBC farm .  12  To further enhanc e the su stainabil it y of the farm, we need to coll ect data on its producti vit y  (e. g. produc e and eggs).  Assessm ent should be made based on th e profit and the amount of product s sold over a five - yea r peri od.  Social Indicators W e chose t hree social sustainability indicators that will help measure the state of the UBC’s food s ystem: 1) Edu cati o n and information on the UBC food s ystem, 2) Par ti cipation of comm unit y members in differ ent co mponents of the UBC fo od s ystem, and 3) Food s ecurit y in the UBC food s ystem.    Educati on and informatio n on the UBC food s yste m :  “To act effectively and responsibly, people must be well informed (Kloppenburg et al., 2000).” In order to achieve a sustainabl e food s yst em, the UBC comm unit y (all students [full time, part-ti me, UBC residents and non -resid ents] , facult y and campus empl o yee s) needs to be educated and knowled ge able on th e food s ystem. The acc essi bil it y of info rmati on on the UBC food s ystem is crucial to its overall sust a inabili t y.  Th e UBC com muni t y would probabl y make more inform ed choices on things th at ma y affe ct the sust ainabili t y of the food s ystem if the y are edu cated on th e food s ystem. For ex ampl e, if the UBC comm unit y is educated on waste ma nagement of the food s ystem and how waste af fects the sust ainabili t y of the food s yst em, the y m a y sta rt to consi der how their choices ma y aff ect t he whole food s ystem. M a yb e with this knowledge, the y ma y tr y to redu ce food s ystem waste b y bri ngin g trav el mugs ins tea d of dispos able pape r cup s for cof fee. Incr easin g educa ti on and acc essi ble information on the UBC food s ystem would b e a start in enabli ng th e UBC community to make informed choices to further sustainability. “A sustainable food system is one i n which ac curate kno wled ge about the food s ystem i s easil y acc essi ble and wi del y dist ributed, and people have the resources and ability to communicate that knowledge (Kloppenburg et al., 2000).” Howeve r, it is important to know that educati on is not the ul timate solution to our food system’s  13  sust ainabili t y iss ues, but it will serve as the begin ning to help the UBC co mm unit y become awar e of the importance of a sust a inable food s ystem.  We can measure the UBC community’s knowledge of our food system by distri buti ng a surve y (App endix 4).   P articipati on of UBC co mm unit y memb ers :   The invol vement of com muni t y m embers in diff e rent components of the food s ystem at UBC is important to its sustainabil it y. Ther e ar e two t ypes o f participants i n the UBC food s ystem: direct and indire ct. Dire c t parti cipants are invol ve d with the gro wing and processi n g of food; wh ere indi rect parti cipants are t he ones who pur chase fo od at food servic e outl et s and are not involved in the operation and governance of the UBC food system. “A sustainable food system is one in which people participat e directl y in the ope rati on and go vernanc e of mult ipl e co mponents of the food s ystem in wa ys that are more compl ex an d influe nti al than simpl e market transacti ons (Klopp enbur g et al., 2000).” It is important that the UBC community is directly involved in the food system in order to ensur e that our food s ystem is sust ainable .  With the use of the UBC farm, Com muni t y Share d Agriculture (CS A) woul d be a possi ble wa y to incre ase dire ct pa rticipati on of the UBC co mm unit y in the produ cti on, processi n g, oper ati on and gov ernan ce of our fo od s ystem. CSA is the system of growin g and distribut ing or gani call y gro wn food that se eks to restore the relations hip between farme rs and cons umers. (Gr een Venture, 2000) UBC  farm could b e the plac e wher e the UBC comm unit y participate s in food producti on. The relational aspe ct of CSA is an important part of a sustainable food s ystem. It facil it at es a more direct, face- t o -fa ce int er a cti on between produ ce rs and consum ers (Kloppen burg et al., 2000).  We can measur e particip ati on by findi n g out the number of students, fa cult y membe rs and campus empl o ye es that are dire ctl y invol ved in fo od producti on, processi n g, ope rati on and  14  gove rnanc e of the UBC food s ystem. This can be ex pressed as a percent a ge obtained b y: (# of students, facult y m ember s and campus empl o ye es directl y participati n g in the food s ystem) divided by (the total # of people in the UBC com muni t y) mul ti pli ed by 100% = % of UBC comm unit y participati ng di rectl y in o ur food s yst em.  Direct pa rticipati on would be an y kind of input int o the UBC food s ystem o ther than the financial input via food purchases.  For ex ampl e, manual inputs int o food pr oducti on at the UBC farm and food prep arati o n at UBC food se rvice ou tl ets are ex ampl es of dire ct parti cipation in the food s ystem. Food secu rit y:  Food secu rit y in a comm unit y occu rs when all pe ople, at all tim es, have ac cess to nutrit ious, safe, pe rsonall y ac ceptab le and cult urall y app ropri ate foods obtained throu gh normal food dist ributi on channels, but not food banks (Kali na L., 2001).  A sustainable food s ystem must have food securit y. The refo re, the UBC food s ystem mu st strive to meet all of the above crite ria fo r food securit y befo re a sust ain a ble food s yst em can be achieved. The consum pti on of nutrit ious, safe, personall y ac ceptable an d cult urall y appropriat e foods are crucial to the pr eservati on and enhanc ement of human healt h and to the maintena nce of emot ional and ph ysical well bein g (Kloppenbur g et al., 2000).  We can measur e food se c urit y b y ex ami ning the fo od choices, afford abil it y and food saf et y standards of the UBC foo d s ystem. B y obtaining i nformation of the cult ur a l composi ti on of the UBC comm unit y, we can identif y the dif fer ent cul tural foods that ar e appro priate for ou r comm unit y. Wit h the help of a surve y, we could i denti f y what members o f the UBC comm unit y consider “personally acceptable foods”, e.g. if there are vegetarians in the commun it y, food se curit y for those indi viduals would mean havin g ve get aria n choices at food s ervic e outl ets. In ord er to  15  anal yz e food pric es, we can obtain aver a ge incom e of students via a surv e y and compar e it to the avera ge mone y the y sp en d on food. Value Assumptions Our group had mor e than one posi ti on regardin g t he differ ent aspe cts of fo od sust ainabili t y which both helped and hi ndered thi s proc ess. Some of us consider ed the pri ce and qu ali t y of food to be a more si gnific ant asp ect of food sust ainabili t y than the wa y food is gro wn. Food pric es can be the deter mi ning factor fo r man y people in terms o f food choic es. If food pr ices are high, it could restrict food choi ces, acc essi bil it y and directl y aff ect person al food secu rity. Mor eover, food quali ty has a dire ct relations hip with consumer healt h. Th e healt h and well -bein g of the consum er depend gr eatl y on the quali t y of food we consum e. Th ere f ore, some of us consi d er the price and qu ali t y of food to be the most signi ficant aspe cts of food sus tainabil it y.  Other members of the gr oup had differ ent posit ions, where the y pl aced si gnificance in the manner of foo d producti on. There is a stron g beli ef that the UBC food s ystem shoul d be self -sust aini ng and shoul d stri ve to be a closed s ystem. In doin g so, the y would acc ept lowe r quali t y food as long as th e y ar e grown in a sustainable manner. The y also beli eve th at ed ucati on in ecolo gical sust ainabili t y is crucial t o the att ainm ent of a sust ainable food s ystem at UBC. Even thou gh our group memb ers hav e diff erent ideas o f what the y deem to be signi ficant, th eir posit ions are all important to the ulti mate goal of sust ainabili t y at UBC. Due to our divers e back grounds, ran gin g from hu man nutrit ion to agro ecol og y, our group had values from both ex tremes: som e group mem bers who spe cializ e in nut rition and food science hold anthropocentric val ues wher eas others who specializ e in animal scien ce and agroe colog y hold ecoc entric values. Our an thropocentric vie w is refl ected in our valu e in foo d quali t y and food securit y. We feel that hu man needs and int e rests are the consi de red pr efe re nces. Our ecoc entric vie w  16  is reflected in ou r value in sust ainable agricult ur e where some m embers pla ce great value in nut rient cyc li ng and the well -bein g of the environment and all of its components. Through m an y discussi ons on the iss ue of food s ystem sust ainabili t y, ou r group reali z ed that we together hold weak anthropocentric wo rldvie ws. Even though th ere ar e members who value nature in and fo r itself, we reali z e that we sti ll nat urall y put hum an int e r est s first because food pric e s and quali t y do aff ect us d irectl y and immediatel y. Moreover, so cial iss ues like food secu rit y also have a gr eat impact on p ersonal well -b eing. Recommendations Our re comm endati ons to the UBC Sustainabil it y Office on wa ys to st ud y t he UBC food s ystem are as follows:  The relations hip betwe en UBC Food Se rvices and the broad -spe ctrum local, global, and nati onal food produc ers, suppl iers and proc essors needs to be ev aluated mo re closel y.  The focus of this proje ct shoul d be ex panded to encompass the resou rces o f the enti re mainland. We reali z e tha t the project was int end e d to look at just UBC, but UBC uses resourc es from all ove r the lower mainl and and we beli eve that thi s needs t o be taken int o account.  W e feel that there shoul d be a close r ex ami nati on of the specific componen ts of the system. For e x ampl e, one group could look at the UBC Vil lage, while another gro up anal yz es the AMS Food and Beve ra ge services or th e UBC Foo d Services.     Therefo re, ea ch component could be anal yz ed in greater depth with the addit ion of other indi cators such as air quali t y and ene r g y reducti on.  17   W e also considered the possi bil it y of gove rnment invol vement on a report such as thi s. For instance, this could develop into a master’s degree with grants and/or other assistance from Healt h Canada, th e Dep a rtment of Human Resour ces, Envir onment Canad a, etc. All of these re comm enda ti ons are to be used in co njunction wit h the efforts of the Sustainabil it y Office. We beli eve that t his could potenti all y bec ome a campus - wide end e avor. Conclusions  Due to the time and reso urce const r aint s of the gr oup, which wer e be yond our control, the focus taken was one of a broad and gen er al overvi ew of the UBC food s yst em. Whil e broad, we beli eve that the model de sign and the indic ators ch osen will help to start assessing the sustainabil it y; and there fore the future of the UBC food s ystem. The previous l y indi cated problem of assessin g what is meant by ‘sustainable’ in the context of the food system and the resulting problems are covered b y th e model pro posed. Incorpo rati n g mor e than the minim um number of sust ainabili t y indi cators was important to the group, as it was a beli ef that the number of indicators in this resea rch proposal makes the meth od of assessment stron ge r and more us er -f riendl y.   This model can and will serve as a baseli ne assessment tool and a point to work from in the yea rs to come.  References  Brad y, B.C. and Weil , R.R . 1999. The Nature and Properties of Soils . Twelfth Edit ion. Prenti ce Hall In c. Upp er Saddle R iver. New Jerse y.  Gliessman, S.R . 2000. Agroecology: Ecological Processes in Sustainable Agriculture. Ed. Engles, E. Lewis Publi shers.  Green Venture. 2002. Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained . Gre en Ventur e. Hami lt on, Ontario. htt p:/ /www.gre enventur e .on.ca/ gv.asp? ID=123   Kali na L., 2001 . Building food security in Canada . Ch. 1 – Food Secu rit y. L. Kali na. Kaml oops, BC.  Kloppenber g, J . et al, 2000. Tasting food, tasting sustainability: Defining the attributes of an alternative food system with competent, ordinary people .   Human Or ganiz ati ons. V(59)2. p. 177 -186  18   Robbins , S. P. and Lan gton, N.  2001. Concepts, Controversies, Applications .   Organiz ati onal Behavio r. Second Canadi an Edit ion. Prenti ce-Hall . Toronto.  SPEC. 2002. Vancouverites urged to boil water . Societ y Promoti n g Enviro nmental Conservati on. Vancouv er . BC. htt p:/ /www.spec.bc .ca/spec/pr essrel/ 09jan02 .htm   UBC Campus Sustainabil it y Offic e. htt p:/ /www.sust ain.ubc.ca/se eds.ht ml   UBC Waste Mana gemen t Program. 2003. History and Reports: Mission Statement . UBC Waste Mana gement Pro gr am. UBC. htt p:/ /www.rec ycl e. ubc.ca/f acts.ht ml #mi ssi on   UBC. 2002. UBC Facts and Figures. The Univer sit y of Britis h Col umbi a. Vancouve r , BC. htt p:/ /www.publi caffairs. ubc.ca/ubc facts/ #stud ent s.ht ml .   ii  Appendix 2 – Model of the UBC Food System Sustainability Continuum               1          3          5             7           9   1. Unsustainable 3.  Declining 5. Adequate 7. Progressive 9.  Sustainable Inputs C ompl ete dependen ce on int ernati onal, non - local input s sources.  T he amount of people on the land has ex ceeded the carr yin g capa cit y.  Combi nati on of input s (local & non - local) with a dependen ce on non - local sources.  Equal dependen ce on non - local & local input sources.  The local input s cannot suppl y for the # of people on  campus  Combi nati on of input s (local & non -local) with a dependen ce on local sources.  Self - sufficient.  100% of the input s are from campus or local sources.  # of people on campus not ex ceeding th e carr yin g capa cit y of th e land.  Wastes No rec ycli n g or comp osti ng.  All wastes dealt with non -locall y. Reli ance on one - ti me use packa gin g.  Non -efficient rec ycli n g & compos ti ng. All other wastes dealt with non -locall y.  Efficient rec ycli n g & compos ti ng.  But all other wastes dealt with non -locall y.  Non - ef ficient re c ycli n g & compos ti ng.  All other wastes dealt with locall y.  Efficient rec ycli n g & compos ti ng*.  All other wastes dealt with locall y.  Decr ease on e -ti me use packa ges  Farm Not uti li z ed to full capacit y, or Util iz ed to point of overproducti on & destru cti on o f the land  No consum er awar eness or linkages to the farm.  Under uti li z ed.  Non -efficient dist ributi on.  Util iz ed. Non -efficient dist ributi on.  Some awar eness of the farms role in the food s ystem and litt le participati on.  Full y uti li z ed.  Non - ef ficient dist ri buti on & mana gement.  Use of outsi de fertili z er.          Full y uti li z ed but not to poi nt of overproducti on.  Efficient dist ributi on & mana gement.  Compos t used for fe rtili z er*.  Able to provide enough food for the UBC campus . Good consum er awar eness and par ti cipation with the farm.    iii  Appendix 3 – Economic Terms  Economi call y sust ainabl e --- M aint ain a lon g-ter m viabil it y of economi c, social, and ecologi cal perspecti ves in monet ar y terms Economi call y sust ainabl e indi cators --- The indi c ators ar e to measur e pro gress towards the go al of max im iz ing net profit over the lon g term in social, ecolo gical, and economi c monetar y te rms. Profit --- The posi ti ve gai n from an investm ent  or busi ness operati on afte r subtracti ng for all ex penses in monetar y t er ms.                  iv  Appendix 4 – Student/Faculty Survey Name: Age Gender:  Ethni c Ba ck ground: Facult y of Stud y: 1.  Do you reside on Campu s / Off Campus ? 2.  Do you know wher e campus food service outl ets b u y t heir food? 3.  W here do you thi nk disposable coff ee cups go aft er the ga rba ge cans are empt ied? 4.  W here can you find infor mation on how food is prepared at UBC food servi ce outl ets? 5.  How man y times per wee k do you pur chase from UBC food se rvice outl ets ? 6.  Are you fami li ar wit h the UBC Sustainabil it y Office? How did you l earn about it? 7.  How often do you brin g a mug from home for be vera ges?  8.  Do you participate in the UBC rec ycli n g/compost ing pro gram? 9.  Are you fami li ar wit h the UBC Farm? How did yo u learn about it? 10.  W ould you like to receive more information about the UBC Sustainability Office’s projects?  


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