Pitt Eats Reduces Waste, Supports Small Business by Purchasing Cows from Local Farm

Partnership with Jubilee Hilltop Ranch supports nose-to-tail initiative in campus dining

Pitt Eats powered by Chartwells Higher Education is taking a more sustainable approach to beef by buying and using entire cows through a new partnership with Jubilee Hilltop Ranch. Pitt Eats will be supporting a local, family-owned farm which will become its primary vendor.

Jubilee, which processes the beef, will provide the University of Pittsburgh with between 800 and 950 pounds of meat and bones per animal, leaving little to waste. The partnership also provides the local farming family a volume commitment which helps keep prices stable and benefits long-term planning.

“As an element of the Pitt Eats Local program, the whole-cow purchasing, organized by our campus Executive Chef Danielle Gallaway, hits a number of our university goals,” said Dining Services Director Joe Beaman, a member of the Pennsylvania Beef Council Board of Directors. “True farm sustainability and local sourcing are the bedrock of our program, and the approach taken by chef allows for good, real food to be served daily at Pitt.”

This “nose-to-tail” movement became a popular trend in 2018 with chefs and foodies leading the charge. It led people to expand their palates by trying cuts they wouldn’t normally eat. The movement also meant less waste as people were consuming all parts of an animal.

“The traditional cuts like ground beef and steak will be used and served like you would expect,” Gallaway said. “Bones will be used as the base for bone broth in soups, oxtail will go into stews and other beef cuts will be blended to make barbacoa for tacos.”

The bulk of the meat will be used in residential dining. The goal is for the program to go campus wide wherever beef is appropriate by the fall term.

  • Ground beef will be used in the 5 oz. patty at True Burger.
  • Flank steak recipes will use the flank, skirt and sirloin flap cuts.
  • A monthly steak night for student residential dining will feature ribeye and strip steaks.
  • Stews will use beef shanks and oxtail.
  • Brisket and short ribs will be used in the Smokeland retail concept and in athletic event concessions.
  • Chuck, top round and sirloin roast will be used as fajitas, barbacoa and roast beef at the deli.
  • The bones will be used for bone stock in soups replacing overly processed alternatives.
  • All beef will be Halal.