When one thinks of the term “cafeteria food”, they think of unidentifiable meat, neon vegetables, and other questionable food products. Thankfully here at BT, this term has a positive connotation, and brings to mind images of the giant cookies, the delectable macaroni and cheese, and let’s not forget the absolutely delightful General Tso’s chicken.
“We are extremely blessed to be able to have food of such good quality here. The macaroni and cheese is my favorite, and it is even better than the Kraft kind, which is pretty good,” said junior Erin Glowacki.
SAGE Dining Services®, the BT food provider, prides itself on purchasing as much local food as possible, which is safer for the environment as well as it simply tastes fresher. The menus change seasonally, in order to reflect the fresh product available in each region. “The food is also prepared fresh and from scratch here in the BT kitchen, by a team of talented chefs,” said Food Service Director Alan McIntosh.
In today’s society, many companies are “going green” in order to help preserve the environment. “SAGE cooks in batches in order to maximize flavor and minimize waste. Also, their managers partner with participating clients to compost organic waste into usable gardening materials. SAGE recycles whenever possible and even contract with vendors to collect used cooking oils and convert it into biodiesel fuel,” said Mr. McIntosh
Mr. McIntosh, who has been at BT for eight years, uses locally sourced food from Crystal Organic Farm, located in Newborn, GA. This farm, run by three generations of farmers, is certified organic, distributes their goods to many restaurants, as well as Whole Foods, and specializes in vegetables.
BT also receives its yogurt from Atlanta Yogurt Company, and the Arden’s Garden juices that are a popular drink not just at school but also at Starbucks and other cafes are made right here in Atlanta. The bread BT uses is also from local bakeries.
“I am glad to hear that BT tries to get food from local places, because fresh is better. Food that has been inside of a truck for who knows how long just doesn’t taste as good. It also makes me love Georgia for being able to grow such delicious food,” said senior Devin Crandall.
The salad bar uses lettuce grown by Podponics, a company whose main focus is sustainability, located in College Park. Podponics is different because by growing locally at or near the point of consumption, it is able to virtually eliminate the need for transport and the associated consumption of oil and emissions. “This is huge, since most lettuce sold in our country comes from California and travels an average of 2,000 miles by truck to get to the consumer,” said Mr. McIntosh.
“We try to buy as much from the local area as possible, and this is mainly for sustainability. Transporting food from all over the country releases electrocarbons which are harmful to our environment,” said Mr. McIntosh.
Mr. McIntosh is very dedicated to his job, and loves being able to make students and teachers a little happier by serving these delectable creations. “All the time I look for different values that could work for us on our menu and what we think kids will buy. That’s the main thing we think about when adding new stuff.”