Sustainability is a key word with University of Guelph hospitality services, which feeds more than 20,000 people on campus every day. Applying sustainability standards to food in that volume can be a challenge – a “daunting task,” in fact, according to the university’s food and beverage procurement manager, Mark Kenny.
He says organizations offering certifications have varying standards, policies and costs associated with their programs. Researching their values, products and supply chains takes time, and must be assessed for best overall practices.
And it’s a particular challenge when it comes to seafood, one of the food sector’s most mislabeled commodities. “Food fraud is rampant, so knowing who to trust becomes a key factor in decision making,” says Kenny.
That’s where technology like Guelph’s Barcode of Life DNA-based identification system works to help alleviate the guess work, at the molecular level. It’s this kind of technology that revealed mislabelling in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles, the latter showing 47 per cent of sushi there was a species other than the restaurant owners thought it was, or claimed it was.