USA Today: Students Increasingly Searching out Local Food Sources
With a steady increase in farmers markets across the nation - 4,685 in 2008 to 7,864 in 2012 - USA Today reports a trend among college students to find out how their food is is grown, raised and processed. "My students increasingly are really thinking about the environmental consequences of the food we eat," says Laurie Thorp, program director of Michigan State University's Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment, in the article. "They understand that climate change is real, and that agriculture contributes to that."
U Buffalo Wins National Sustainability Awards Contest
The university's Campus Dining and Shops was recently recognized in the "Outreach and Education" category of the National College and University Food Service Association’s Sustainability Awards contest. The university earned the honor for its participation in the New York State “Pride of New York” program, which promotes and supports the sale of agricultural products produced and processed within the state.
23 Colleges Join EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge
(U.S.): Twenty-three college and universities in New England have joined a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency effort to reduce food waste. The partnership aims to reduce the 1.64 million tons of food wasted each year in the six New England states. EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge encourages organizations to reduce, donate, and recycle as much of their excess food as possible, which saves money, feeds the needy, and supports the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability.
Clark U Signs Real Food Campus Commitment
(U.S.): The college pledges to purchase at least 20 percent “real food” by 2020, which will include food that is community based, ecologically sound, humanely produced, or fairly traded.
Food Recovery Network, Bon Appétit Partner to Fight Food Waste
Bon Appétit Management Company has partnered with the Food Recovery Network (FRN), a student-operated nonprofit working on college campuses to curb food waste and end hunger. Bon Appétit and FRN will work together to recover surplus food from campus dining halls and deliver it to local shelters to combat hunger in the surrounding communities.
Loyola Marymount U Commits to Sustainable Seafood
The university has earned the Marine Stewardship Council’s Chain of Custody certification. The certificate attests that the fish stock used on campus comes from sustainable fisheries that are concerned with the marine ecosystem; and is supplied by processors and distributors through sustainable sourcing practices.
Warren Wilson College Signs Real Food Challenge Commitment
The college and Sodexo Dining Services have signed the Real Food Challenge Commitment. The agreement, augmenting previous sustainability commitments by the college, states that Warren Wilson will procure 40 percent “real food” annually by the year 2020. The College’s local foods crew is charged with monitoring the food purchasing.
Sodexo, Real Food Challenge Sign Food Transparency Agreement
Sodexo and the Real Food Challenge have announced an agreement to advance supply chain transparency on Sodexo-contracted campuses. The agreement institutes a rigorous and comprehensive set of standards, defined by the Real Food Calculator, for judging the social responsibility and sustainability of Sodexo’s vendors and food producers.
U Toronto Debuts Veggie Mondays Campaign
(Canada): Food Services has launched Veggie Mondays, a campus-wide campaign to encourage students to consume more plant-based foods at least one day of the week. The first phase of this campaign implemented a vegetarian and vegan standard which allows students and staff to easily identify vegan and vegetarian foods in campus eateries. The second phase will introduce student discounts on vegan and vegetarian meals as well as a weekly comic strip to raise awareness.
McGill U Receives Sustainable Seafood Certification
The university’s Food and Dining Services has received the Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody certification, becoming the first Canadian post-secondary institution to be recognized by the MSC for its commitment to serving sustainable seafood. Supported by the university’s Sustainability Projects Fund, the certification effort was kickstarted by a capstone class project and picked up by students who were able to work in partnership with Food and Dining Services to see the certification through to completion.
U Cincinnati Students Advocate for Organic Food
Student advocates for organic food have received approval to go forward with the Real Food Calculator, the first step to the Real Food Challenge. The calculator determines how healthy the food currently being served is and how much it needs to improve. The university can use the calculator without signing a commitment to the challenge, a national campaign to provide students with more sustainable food in school systems.
Harvard U Café Pilots Reusable Container Program
The Food Literacy Project and Dining Services have partnered to introduce a reusable container pilot program in Dudley Café aimed at reducing excess waste from disposable food containers and packaging. Students and regular customers at the Café may claim a token upon returning a reusable container, which can then be redeemed for discounts at the next meal. Depending on impact and engagement, the Food Literacy Project and Harvard University Dining Services hope to consider opportunities to expand the program for the new school year.
Boston U Restaurants Certified Green
Each of the three eateries at the Center for Students Services has been named a Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association. Winning features included the restaurants’ use of cage-free eggs, local food sourcing, and abundance of vegetarian main dishes. The kitchens are outfitted with Energy Star appliances, water-efficient dishwashers and sink fixtures, and a food pulper that turns scraps into compost.
U Illinois Chicago to Switch to Cage-Free Eggs
The university has announced it will begin serving only cage-free eggs. This change comes after speaking with The Human League and receiving positive feedback from the campus community.
American U Food Workers to Receive Sustainable Food Training
Food service workers have ratified a contract that will provide paid training on sustainable food prep and cooking practices, and a watchdog committee for employer accountability. Unite Here Local 23 had run an eight-month “Real Food, Real Jobs” campaign targeting Bon Appétit Management Co. to bring a sustainable food system to campuses.
Harvard U Dining Services Focuses on Sustainable Seafood
Dining Services has launched a sustainable seafood program and is working to develop guidelines that can be shared with other institutions. After months of planning, students are now seeing new species such as “swai,” as well as familiar offerings from more sustainable sources, such as Prince Edward Island mussels and shrimp caught in Maine waters.
Portland State U Increases Sustainable Food Efforts
(U.S.): The university’s food service provider, Aramark, hired a sustainability intern to track local and organic food purchases with the goal of buying more local food. In addition, in an effort to reduce food packaging and waste, Aramark unveiled a “green box reusable to-go” program and a composting program on campus.
Unity College Offers Local Organic Milk in Dining Hall
(U.S.): The university’s Dining Services has partnered with Maine’s Own Organic Milk and will begin offering MOOMilk on a daily basis in February. Over the past several semesters, the college has been using MOOMilk as an example of sustainable enterprise, and students have pursued a variety of projects with the company, including visiting family farms and pursuing marketing projects.
U Virginia Students Help Reduce Food Waste
(U.S.): As part of the Campus Kitchen Project, a student group has begun to use leftover produce from Dining Services to create meals for the Salvation Army. The campus dining hall donates leftovers that were cooked but not served, and provides cooking space to student group three times a week. The program is expected to grow in the coming months thanks to a $1,000 grant from the UVA Hellenic Society.
Rhode Island College Acquires Bee Hives
The college has installed two beehives to raise awareness among the student body and educate the public about beekeeping’s role in promoting sustainability. Honey harvested from the hives will be used in the campus dining center next year.
Ithaca College Provides More Local Food Options
Members of the campus community, including students and employees, have been working to encourage a shift toward supporting locally produced food in campus dining. The college plans to bring more local food products to campus this year, and expects a five percent increase in food sourced from the region.
Illinois State U Dining Services to Eliminate Promotional Fliers
Campus Dining Services has announced plans to eliminate the use of table tents in all dining centers beginning this spring. By switching to information screens for advertising and promotion, groups on campus could save a combined estimated total of $12,450 per semester.
Pomona Dining Services Installs Green Technology
(U.S.): Dining Services has installed eight eCubes as part of the college’s continuing efforts to increase its sustainable operations. The eCube fits over a cooler’s thermostat and mimics food temperature, increasing a cooler’s efficiency. The project is expected to produce a cost savings of approximately $3,000 per year
Franklin Pierce U Wins Localvore Cooking Challenge
The university’s dining services team won a competition in which higher education institutions competed to create the best entrée out of locally produced ingredients. Twelve other New England colleges and universities participated in the competition, including Keene State College, Southern New Hampshire University, Plymouth State University, Colby-Sawyer College, and Rivier University.
North Carolina State U Launches Sustainable Dining Program
The recently launched program, “My Roots are at NC State,” connects dining services with North Carolina growers, manufacturers, processors and producers to increase the purchase of local food products. The program also highlights alumni efforts to provide the best food possible for students, faculty, and staff.
U Central Florida Partners with Aramark to Divert Food Waste
The Student Government Association has begun working with Aramark to decrease the university’s carbon footprint and give back to the community by donating leftover food from on-campus eateries. The program is modeled after a national Aramark project, which promotes the donation of food to Second Harvest Food Bank.
Macalester College Signs Real Food Campus Commitment
The college pledges to purchase at least 30 percent “real food” by 2020, which will include food that is community based, ecologically sound, humanely produced, or fairly traded. The college joins Wesleyan College, UC-Santa Cruz and the University of Vermont as a signatory institution.
U Maryland Dining Services Launches Sustainable Food Commitment
The Department of Dining Services has created a commitment to sustainable food and launched a Sustainable Food Working Group, comprised of students, faculty, and staff. The group will help the department find innovative and cost-effective ways to achieve a goal of 20 percent sustainable food purchases by 2020.
Michigan State U Introduces Campus Food Truck
Culinary Services has introduced Eat at State On-the-Go, a food truck that will offer menu items made with local ingredients grown at the university’s organic farm, dairy store and bakery. The food truck will accept on- and off-campus dining plans.
Baylor U Dining Services Eliminates Styrofoam
With new cardboard to-go boxes in the dining halls, the campus is now 100 percent Styrofoam-free. The sustainability coordinator and sustainability committee have worked closely with food-service provider, Aramark, to find alternative products.
Northland College Works to Increase Local Foods on Campus
Working with several area farms and food/producer co-ops, the college aims to increase consumption of local foods on campus to 20 percent during the 2012-2013 school year. The move will represent an investment of about $100,000 to grow the presence of local foods on campus while supporting a local foods economy, farmers and their families.
U Iowa Dining Services Installs Food Pulper, Saves Water
The university’s Hillcrest Marketplace has installed a $58,000 food pulper that is expected to save $8,000 in water costs. The device grinds leftover food into mush. Water is pressed out of the mush, filtered and used to wash dishes. The leftover compost is taken to a local landfill to be made into fertilizer.
Cornell U Commits to Sustainable Seafood
The university has become the first Ivy League school to earn the Marine Stewardship Council’s Chain of Custody certification. The certificate attests that the fish stock used on campus comes from sustainable fisheries that are concerned with the marine ecosystem; and is supplied by processors and distributors that also have been checked out for sustainable sourcing practices.
Institutions Participate in 'Low Carbon Diet Day'
The University of Pennsylvania, Case Western Reserve University (Ohio), American University (D.C.) and Roger Williams University (Rhode Island) are among the colleges and universities that recently celebrated Bon Appétit Management's Low Carbon Diet Day. The event is part of the catering company's Low Carbon Diet program, designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions among its 400 locations in 31 states by considering the impact of fertilizers, livestock, transportation and packaging. Higher education cafés showcased Low Carbon Diet principles with creative, nutritious and low carbon meals like mushroom burgers and sushi made with frozen-at-sea fish.
Franklin College Approves Garden-to-Dining Project
(Switzerland): The Franklin Campus Garden Project will provide a local and organic food source for campus dining services and a tangible classroom for environmental science and food-related courses. The multiphase organic garden project aims to expand on a yearly basis.
Montana State U Announces Increase in Local Food Purchasing
A new emphasis on local food brought about in part by student wishes resulted in a record 23 percent rise in local food purchasing in the last fiscal year. The university now purchases nearly a quarter of its food from local farmers and producers.
U Vermont Joins the Real Food Challenge
The university has become the fifth school in the U.S. to join the nationwide challenge to institutions to ensure that at least 20 percent of the food served on campus is nourishing producers, consumers, communities and the Earth. Each participating institution receives a "Real Food Calculator” to see which foods qualify toward that goal.
Elon U Partners with Local Farmers for '10 Percent Campaign'
Elon University (North Carolina) has adopted the 10 Percent Campaign, a statewide initiative that establishes trade agreements between local farmers and businesses to purchase a minimum of 10 percent of all food locally for campus meals. The campaign intends to help reduce food transit; decreasing gas emissions and the need for pesticides and preservatives.
U Calgary Students Work toward a Fair Trade Campus
Engineers Without Borders students at the University of Calgary (Alberta) are working with university administrators to become a fair trade campus this year. The group's "Fair Trade Fridays" have increased campus awareness and recruited the Student Union to the cause.
U North Texas Dining Services Reduces Food Truck Deliveries
The University of North Texas’ Dining Services has partnered with a local food distributor to provide a delivery truck dedicated solely to the university, minimizing the number of deliveries per week from 17 to three. The new vehicle also features emission-lowering and fuel-efficiency technologies.
Manhattan College Earns Fair Trade Status
Manhattan College (NY) has received Fair Trade College status from Fair Trade USA. The certification is a result of five years of work to expand fair trade products within all campus dining halls, restaurants, cafes and bookstore.
Saint Michael’s College Receives Fair Trade Status
After passing a campus-wide Fair Trade Resolution and Fair Trade Procurement Policy, Saint Michael’s College (VT) has been named a Fair Trade College by Fair Trade USA. The college will work to make fair trade coffee, tea and bananas available in the dining facilities at all times and integrate fair trade information and events into the campus community.
Marietta College Dining Announces Waste Reduction Efforts
Marietta College’s (OH) Dining Services has partnered with Future Organics, Inc. to launch a new composting initiative on campus. The college will aim to divert 195 cubic yards of waste per year. To minimize waste further, the college has also debuted reusable mugs and to-go containers, introduced cage-free eggs and sustainable seafood, and eliminated dining trays.
Paul Smith’s College to Serve Local Food Year-round
Paul Smith’s College (NY) has partnered with a local food distributor to provide at least one local food item per day to the campus year-round. The college will work to grow its list of local foods over time.
College of St. Benedict Eliminates Dining Trays
The College of Saint Benedict (MN) has eliminated trays at its buffet-style cafeteria with the aim of reducing water use and food waste. An estimated 3,000 trays will no longer need to be washed every day.
U Colorado Boulder Signs Fair Food Pledge
In response to student enthusiasm, the University of Colorado Boulder has signed a pledge to provide healthy food for students and buy food from sources that have safe and fair agricultural practices. The university has pledged to have 25 percent of its food offerings be organic, 25 percent be natural and 25 percent be locally grown by 2015. The statement also says that the university will buy from vendors that are curbing their use of pesticides.
U Florida Removes Plastic Foam from Dining Halls
The University of Florida has eliminated plastic foam products in its Gator Dining locations. By replacing plastic foam cups and to-go containers with paper-based products that are compostable or recyclable, the university expects to save 24,000 pounds of waste from the landfill per year.