For a while now, organic quality ingredients and groceries are being used in the canteens and bistros of the Studierendenwerk.
"We want to develop sustainable university gastronomy and offer tasty food that is healthy at the same time", says Ulrike Laux, Managing Director of the Studierendenwerk. "With organic food, we want to do our part so that we and our descendants in the future face a world in which a high quality of life is possible".
We take advantage of large quantities
In our canteens, where up to 10,000 menus are served on a daily basis and students with a limited dining budget also have to be taken into account, this isn't an easy goal. A canteen meal can consist of up to 20 ingredients, which makes switching completely to organic farming expensive and time-consuming. However, since we want organic products to increasingly figure on the menu, we try to take advantage of large purchase quantities: Potatoes, for example, are always processed by the ton. That way, it's not always necessary to change a whole dish in order to make an effective difference. That's why we're taking a close look at which ingredients and foods are suitable for switching to organic quality in particularly large quantities
We purchase approx. 100,000 kg of organic quality potatoes per year.
Mensa guests may ask, "What's in it for me?" The answer is quite simple: better quality. A few examples ...
Rice is the staple food for more than half of the world's population. The decisive advantage of the organic alternative is its cultivation. Organic rice is organically produced. No mineral fertilizers and pesticides are used in the rice fields, and therefore, the soil is nor over-fertilized nor contaminated by residues of pesticides and herbicides. The biodiversity of the soil is preserved and its function as a filter for our drinking water is not impaired. Meanwhile, conventional cultivation methods result in residues that can be harmful to humans due to the agricultural chemicals used in the soil and crops. Pests in organic rice are combatted before packaging using a CO2-pressure-method that deprives the organisms of oxygen rather than with pesticides. The quality of the rice is not affected by this method. By switching to organic rice in the canteen, guests can benefit from the increase in quality not only at the side dish counter. Our Wok dishes are also exclusively prepared with organic quality rice.
Organic, and in the canteen: rice
Is "organic" tastier?
With organic fruit, diners get more value for their money: Organic farmers give the fruit more time to mature and abstain from growth enhancers. Apples, bananas and mandarins usually contain less water and thus have a more intense taste than conventionally produced fruit. Organic products contain secondary plant matter and fiber as well as vitamins in larger amounts than conventionally produced fruits and vegetables, although due to the large number of varieties significant differences can be observed. Contamination with pesticides is usually very low in organic fruit. During a study in a Copenhagen zoo, the monkeys showed a keen sense for the matter: While they carefully peeled conventional bananas, the organic bananas were eaten including the peel …
"A cow in the pasture..."
In the face of conventional cattle farming, unfortunately this sounds like a joke: Most dairy cows never know what is beyond the concrete floor of their barn. Because they move around more, pasture cows give better milk with higher levels of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, we require that the cows that produce our organic milk must be given green fodder and are not fed with silage exclusively. Cows that have the opportunity to move around, however, also give less milk. Therefore, in conventional agriculture the "production machine" cow is often kept in the barn and optimized for milk production. A conventional dairy farmer receives only around 30 cents per liter of milk and can only operate economically due to the large quantity of milk produced. This usually includes massive use of antibiotics and concentrated feed. Unfortunately, udder diseases are not uncommon in conventional dairy farms. A barn kept cow lives an average of seven years, whereas pasture cows get much older. The decision for organic milk is therefore not only a decision for quality, but also for animal welfare.
The milk in the bistro's coffee is organically produced
The source of our organic milk as well as our potatoes is the Sonnenhof farm within the premises of the Nieder-Ramstädter-Diakonie (NRD) in Ober-Ramstadt. Organic potatoes contain less nitrate than conventionally produced potatoes – in addition, they are tastier. We also purchase organic eggs in large quantities. We use them as an ingredient in the canteens and bistros as well as in our in-house bakery. A study by the University of Hohenheim found that organic eggs have a better aroma. Since the chicken can eat more plants on the meadow, the eggs contain more omega-3 fatty acids.
The animals themselves can grow up in better living conditions through organic production.
Another thing we buy in large quantities are organic noodles. The pasta at the pasta counter is organic throughout.
What is organic in the canteen and bistro?
Organic natural Tofu "Soja Fit"
Organic potatoes – supplied in a variety of different cuts
Organic coffee – different varieties
Organic tea – various flavors
"Bionade" – various flavors
Organic "Lemonaid" – various flavors
Organic "ChariTea" – various flavors
Organic "VIO" – various flavors
Organic Smoothie "Proviant" – various flavors
Organic Geschwendner Bio Eistee
Organic "Coconut Tropic Drink"
Organic "Solero Juicy Peach"
Organic UHT milk & whole milk
Organic "Koawach" – various flavors
Organic rice - different varieties
Organic milk rice
Organic apple – different varieties
Organic nut bar "Share" – various flavors
Organic noodles at the pasta counter – different varieties
Organic agave nectar