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City of Oceanside Unveils Innovative Food Recovery and Preservation Kitchen

State-of-the-Art Facility Addresses Sustainability, Hunger, Education and Provides Catering for a Cause

Oceanside CA— On Saturday afternoon, June 22, the City of Oceanside opened the doors to its Green Oceanside Kitchen—a state-of-the-art food recovery and preservation facility at the El Corazon Senior Center, providing innovative solutions to food waste, hunger and environmental and culinary education in North San Diego County.

One of the most comprehensive facilities of its kind in the nation, the Green Oceanside Kitchen is the result of a public-private partnership between the City of Oceanside and O’side Kitchen Collaborative (OKC). The facility includes a 1,700 square foot commercial kitchen, a 500 square foot walk-in freezer that can hold about a semi-truck load of food and an interactive demonstration kitchen for culinary arts training and education. The facility was designed to maximize food recovery and preservation with specialty equipment installed throughout including a tilt skillet, food dehydrator, a smoker, juicer and a food sealer/saver.

City of Oceanside’s Environmental Officer, Colleen Foster (left) gives a tour of the 500 sq ft walk-in cooler.

“It took four years of research, planning and a whole lot of hard work by dedicate members of the community,” said Colleen Foster, City of Oceanside’s Environmental Officer, to guests attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Green Oceanside Kitchen. “When you think about environmental issues, wasted food may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Wasted food is a major issue.” Foster said that approximately 40% of food that is transported and distributed in the US is thrown away with about 20% of that being edible when it hits the landfills. “It’s a shame that in San Diego County one in seven adults and one in five children do not know where their next meal will come from. At the City of Oceanside, we thought we could do better.”

Foster said that one of the biggest gaps in saving edible food was a space to process it. “The Green Oceanside Kitchen aims to fill a significant hole in our food system by providing a location and services to preserve food, reduce waste, feed our community, and provide job training and education for being better stewards of the earth. Turning a bruised tomato into spaghetti sauce or a squash into soup. How can you give someone a spaghetti squash if you don’t give them an opportunity to cook it. So came to be the Green Oceanside Kitchen,” said Foster.

When food is wasted, so is the water, energy and labor consumed to grow it. One pound of food in landfills creates the same emissions as 20% of the energy used daily in an average household.

Vallie Gilley, CEO of O’side Kitchen Collaborative

The City of Oceanside and OKC will work together to recover agricultural surplus from local farms, growers and gleaning organizations annually, with OKC using the City of Oceanside’s facility to transform the produce into delicious cuisine and preserved products, nutritious meals for the food insecure and offer full-service catering for a cause. There are approximately 6,500 small farms in San Diego County.

Community workshops and cooking classes will also be provided at the kitchen to raise awareness about the issues and educate participants on solutions to food waste.

The Green Oceanside Kitchen supports the City of Oceanside’s commitment to zero waste, responsible resourcing and climate action management—exemplified in its Green Oceanside campaign, which is dedicated to teaching residents and local businesses how to be more sustainable.

For more information about Green Oceanside, visit www.GreenOceanside.org.


About the City of Oceanside

The City of Oceanside is located in northern San Diego County with a population of approximately 170,000. Oceanside’s vibrant coastal community includes MiraCosta Community College, Camp Pendleton and the world-renowned 1,601-foot fishing pier and 1,000-slip public marina. Oceanside is located 83 miles south of the City of Los Angeles and just 35 miles north of the City of San Diego. The City of Oceanside offers outstanding public amenities such as 30 city parks, four community recreation centers, two municipal swim centers, two senior centers, two city-owned golf courses and 3.5 miles of public beaches. More than 6,000 businesses operate within the City of Oceanside, including Genentech Pharmaceuticals, Te Connectivity, Hydranautics, Nitto Denko, Gilead Sciences, Hobie Cat and Tri-City Medical Center, as well as emerging craft and entrepreneurial ventures.

About Green Oceanside

Green Oceanside is a campaign dedicated to teaching residents and local businesses how to be better stewards of the earth through zero waste, watershed protection, water conservation, energy conservation and sustainability.

About O’side Kitchen Collaborative (OKC)

O’side Kitchen Collaborative supports zero waste efforts by partnering with local farms and food businesses to divert and rescue fresh produce to nourish and educate our community.