A reporter from Sandia National Laboratory stopped into our kitchen and saw the new, fresh and exciting changes that have occurred since Taher took over the responsibility of feeding Sandia’s scientists and engineers.
Photo: Randy Montoya
Here’s what they had to say:
“With Taher touting that 70 percent of everything it serves is made from scratch, including fresh, never-frozen beef burgers and farm-fresh eggs, Lisa Teves (3334), a registered dietitian with Sandia’s Employee Health Services (EHS), says the new food service provider will make fresh, delicious, healthy food more accessible for Sandians.
“We want to make an environment where it’s easy for people to make a healthy choice,” she says. “If my environment supports me eating less processed food and more fresh food, I will.”
Fast food is a staple for many adults in the US. In a 2013 Gallup poll, 47 percent of respondents said they eat fast food at least weekly.
Lisa sees a connection between fast food’s popularity and its accessibility. If chicken nuggets are inexpensive, nearby, and easy to grab fast, people are more likely to eat them. These same factors apply when deciding to eat onsite. “People who go to Thunderbird feel it’s convenient and a good deal for the money,” she says.
As part of its Food4Life initiative, Taher will soon highlight a different meal each day offering whole, fresh foods for $6.
“The Taher value meal has a different standard than the value meal with a soda and fries,” Lisa says.”
The article goes on to read:
“Taher has promised to increase the amount of locally produced food it serves, while partnering with local companies and making continuous improvement toward Sandia’s goals for sustainability.
Robert Kyzer, proprietor of Kyzer Farms in Albuquerque’s South Valley, stood behind a tray of bratwurst during June 26’s grand opening at the Thunderbird.
“I’m from the South Valley,” said grand opening attendee Benita Montano (6354) after sampling the bratwurst. “The South Valley used to be farmed more than it is now. To see it being farmed for this, it gives me a happy feeling.”
Kyzer was among the producers featured at a sampling table for La Montañita Coop, a community-owned natural foods market started in Albuquerque in 1976 with which Taher is developing a partnership.
These multiple points of emphasis make Taher a good fit for Sandia’s goals and culture, according to Renee.
“I think it just fits with the model of what we do: improve quality and service and be able to impact health,” says Renee, who expressed her gratitude to members of EHS and Sandia’s Facilities Division who worked to contract with Taher. “I see it as a good procurement.”