Tim Galarneau receives 2011 UC Sustainability Champion Award

Tim Galarneau has advanced sustainability causes on and off-campus.(photo by Jennifer McNulty)

Tim Galarneau, UCSC’s Food Systems working group coordinator, is known for his far-ranging vision and his ability to advance the sustainable foods movement on campus and beyond.

 Now, Galarneau – described in a 2009 Mother Jones magazine profile as “the Alice Waters of a burgeoning movement of campus foodies”,  is getting systemwide recognition.  

Last week, Galarneau received the 2011 UC Sustainability Champion Award at the 10th annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference held in Long Beach.

In a speech at the conference, University of California vice president for budget and capital resources Patrick Lenz praised Galarneau "for his positive, collaborative energy that is transforming the daily food experience of every student, staff, faculty, and patient in the UC system, for what he has done for farm workers and for the land that sustains all life, and for reminding us how much better our lives can be if we take the time to sit down and break bread together.”

Lenz mentioned several of Galarneau’s sustainability highlights:

• As an undergraduate, he helped convince his fellow students to tax themselves to provide $250,000 annually for student sustainability projects and programs. He has since advised students who have successfully passed four subsequent fee referenda, including one devoted to sustainable food system education and practice on his campus.

• As a student and then as a staff member in the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, he helped transform dining services into a more sustainable in-house operation that has become a national leader in sustainable dining.

• Galarneau has since worked to transfer that experience and knowledge across the UC system and nationally. He initiated and led the drive to add sustainable food service practices to the UC Policy on Sustainable Practices. Now all UC campuses and Medical Centers have committed to serving at least 20% sustainable food by 2020.

• Galarneau also led the first session at the sustainability conference. He organized full-day pre-conference “Field to Fork” workshops,  served on the board of directors of the California Student Sustainability Coalition, and launched the statewide Sustainable Agrifood System Fellowship for students leading research and education on their campus food systems.

• Galarneau also co-founded the Real Food Challenge, a national campaign to convince 1,000 universities and colleges to buy 20% of their food from sustainable sources by 2020, which would shift $1 billion to real food within the next decade.

Staff reporter Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones described him as nothing less than a food visionary in his magazine profile of Galarneau.

 “He envisions a day when mystery meat and other institutional staples will be replaced by "real food," like "a grab-and-go organic regional salad or an organic cookie."