Food & Dining

Introduction

Modern industrial food production often has deleterious environmental and social impacts. Institutions can use their food purchases to support their local economies; encourage safe, environmentally friendly and humane farming methods; and help eliminate unsafe working conditions and alleviate poverty for farmers. These actions help reduce environmental impacts, preserve regional farmland, improve local food security, and support fair and resilient food systems. Dining services can also support sustainable food systems by preventing food waste and diverting food materials from the waste stream, by making low impact dining options available, and by educating its customers about more sustainable options and practices.

Featured Resources

1208 resources

FRESH to Table: A Homegrown Dining Initiative

  • Boston College (MA)

FRESH is a Boston College Dining Services (BCDS) initiative that stands for Fairly traded, Regional, Equitable, Sustainable, and Healthy. With these FRESH parameters, BCDS seeks to source food and food ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Coolfoodies and Friends Meetup

  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)
  • Williams College (MA)
  • World Resources Institute (DC)

Join Coolfood Pledge members Brandeis University, University of Pittsburgh, and Williams College for a group discussion and networking hour following the “Implementing Coolfood at Three Universities” session. Chat with Coolfood ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Sustainable and Healthful Food Purchasing Policy at Lehigh University

  • Lehigh University (PA)

This session is designed to educate sustainability staff, university business service departments, and campus dining executives on ways to incorporate healthy and sustainable food into their campus operations. This session ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Not Your Average Emissions: Scope 3 Challenges, Opportunities, and Taking a Holistic Approach

  • Harvard University (MA)

Reducing Scope 3 emissions is an urgent sustainability challenge, but while the opportunity for impact is great, the journey forward is not always clear or easy. For most organizations, including ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Using Behavioral Science to Flip Food Culture

  • Better Food Foundation (DC)
  • Food for Climate League

What do college cafeterias, a Soul Music festival, urban hospitals and trendy coffeeshop chains have in common? In 2022 and 2023 they are places that have used behavioral nudges, like ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Menuing toward Net Zero: Coolfood Meals and Emissions Targets

  • Aramark (PA)

Food systems are estimated to contribute over 1/3 of overall annual greenhouse gas emissions. In an effort to address this, Aramark has implemented Coolfood Meals, a low carbon menu ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Implementing Successful Reuse Programs in Campus Dining

  • Boston University (MA)
  • The Ohio State University (OH)
  • AASHE (PA)

Reusable to-go container programs offer great potential for waste reduction and financial savings, but challenges with implementation often limit participation, prevent containers from being returned and reused, or provide little ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Composting: Simple Changes for Meaningful Impacts

  • University of Arizona (AZ)

Food loss and waste are global challenges; an estimated 40% of food in the U.S. is wasted. Food waste disposal practices correlate with issues such as food insecurity, poverty ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Implementing Coolfood at Three US Universities

  • Harvard University (MA)
  • University of Pittsburgh (PA)
  • Williams College (MA)
  • World Resources Institute (DC)

Coolfood Pledge members commit to a target of reducing GHG emissions associated with the food they serve by 25 percent by 2030. Learn about the credible and proven way to ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Just Purchasing Consortium: Networking and Mutual Education

  • Georgetown University (DC)

Poultry processing is hazardous, horrific work. Processing lines move very fast, with some plants operating at a maximum speed of 175 birds per minute, and the working conditions are challenging ...

  • Posted Feb. 21, 2024
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Missing Pieces in Higher Education Climate Action Planning: Food, Reuse and Empowerment

  • AASHE (PA)
  • Gaia Education
  • Center for Biological Diversity (AZ)

Climate plans can help colleges and universities address climate concerns specific to the students, faculty and staff of that campus. Staff from the Center for Biological Diversity and GAIA will ...

  • Posted Feb. 15, 2024
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Sustainable Food Systems (BS/BA)

  • Prescott College (AZ)

This degree explores food systems from agricultural processes, to marketplace dynamics, to the issues of food justice. Students engage in interdisciplinary study and practice, drawing on history, environmental studies and ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Sustainable Food Systems (MS)

  • Prescott College (AZ)

This degree supports the strengthening of communities and their members by helping people re(build) healthy, just and sustainable food systems. In today’s world of complex food, nutrition, and ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Sustainable Food Systems (MBA-MSFS)

  • Prescott College (AZ)

Designed for students interested in transforming food systems. Students gain sustainable leadership skills and tools with the knowledge of systems science needed to build and change businesses that contribute to ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Food Studies (Minor)

  • Middlebury College (VT)

Food Studies is a new initiative that integrates courses and cocurricular activities into a cohesive program of study. The curriculum addresses the interconnections of food issues with environmental, social, health ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Food and Agriculture Law and Policy Dual-Degree (MS)

  • Quinnipiac University (CT)

A partnership between the Quinnipiac School of Law and Vermont Law School, students will learn to effectively engage the institutions and individuals that directly influence food and agriculture law and ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Nutrition- Sustainable Food Systems (BS)

  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania (PA)

Program emphasizes ecological approaches and systems-based thinking for students to develop understanding of local, regional, and international food systems. Students are prepared for position in food management and careers focused ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Food Systems (Certificate)

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (WI)

The undergraduate Food Systems Certificate (16 credit) is offered by the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The Food Systems Certificate assembles ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Food Systems and Nutrition (Minor)

  • Tufts University (MA)

The Food Systems and Nutrition minor encompasses a wide array of topics addressing sustainable food production, policy, access and nutrition.

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Food Systems (Minor)

  • Bucknell University (PA)

The minor in food systems takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the production, processing, distribution and politics of food, which are global challenges in the 21st century. The ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (Bachelor)

  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (TX)

The multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAFS) serves students interested in improving the sustainability of modern food and agricultural systems. This major prepares graduates ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Sustainable Global Food Systems (Minor)

  • Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick Campus (NJ)

The Minor in Sustainable Global Food Systems (18 credits) is designed for students who wish to expand their understanding of issues and challenges facing food systems that bridge the boundaries ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Food Systems Sustainability, Health, and Equity (Minor)

  • Northeastern University (MA)

The minor in food systems sustainability, health, and equity is an interdisciplinary exploration of the contemporary food system, with particular attention to how the system evolved; its diverse societal, health ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Sustainable Food Systems (Minor)

  • Cal Poly Humboldt (CA)

The Sustainable Food Systems Minor is an interdisciplinary course of study from all three colleges. It provides students with a holistic food systems perspective and an increased ability to access ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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Sustainable Local Foods (Minor)

  • South Dakota State University (SD)

The interdisciplinary minor in Sustainable Local Foods focuses on healthful food choices and sustainable food production of locally produced vegetables and fruits. It will equip students in any major to ...

  • Posted Dec. 13, 2023
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The Why and How Behind Aligning Your Institution’s Values With its Food Purchases

  • Emory University (GA)
  • Spelman College (GA)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Bon Appétit Management Company
  • The Common Market

What is the impact of your purchases? Is your food service program taking steps to align its values—local sourcing, equity and diversity, climate, health, and beyond—with its purchases ...

  • Posted Oct. 19, 2023
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Our Carbon Footprint - Digital Education Package

  • Educated Choices Program

This digital video presentation and accompanying materials, developed in partnership with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), explores the environmental impacts associated with the production of modern food products and food ...

  • Posted Oct. 19, 2023
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The Future of Food - Digital Education Package

  • Educated Choices Program

This digital video presentation and accompanying materials explore the latest in plant-based and cell-based food technologies and how these products are shaping the future of our food systems. Viewers examine ...

  • Posted Sept. 12, 2023
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The Planet and Our Plates - Digital Education Package

  • Earthday.org (DC)
  • Educated Choices Program

Created in partnership between the Educated Choices Program and EARTHDAY.ORG, this presentation takes an in-depth look at the environmental issues our planet is facing (including deforestation, ocean depletion, overuse ...

  • Posted Sept. 12, 2023
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Reusable Goods Used at Student Run Coffee Shop

  • Tufts University (MA)

The Sink, a student-run coffee shop, implements reusable dishware and fair trade coffee when serving beverages at the Tufts University campus center.


Saint Mary's College Garden

  • Saint Mary's College of California (CA)

Saint Mary's half acre campus garden is a source of healthy, fresh and sustainable fruits, herbs, vegetables and honey for students, staff and faculty.


Saint Mary's College Earth Day Vegetable Plant Giveaway

  • Saint Mary's College of California (CA)

Saint Mary's College's half-acre garden, The Legacy Garden, is a source of fresh fruits and vegetables on campus for students, staff and faculty. The garden also hosts an ...


Saint Mary's College of California Dining Hall Photo

  • Saint Mary's College of California (CA)

Saint Mary's College iconic Oliver Hall serves all on-campus students as well as staff, faculty and campus visitors. In 2022, Saint Mary's College switched its food service provider ...


Saint Mary's College of California Dining Hall Photo

  • Saint Mary's College of California (CA)

Saint Mary's College iconic Oliver Hall serves all on-campus students as well as staff, faculty and campus visitors. In 2022, Saint Mary's College switched its food service provider ...


Campus Sustainability’s Secret Sauce – Athletes

  • University of Colorado Boulder (CO)
  • AASHE (PA)
  • Switch4Good inc. (CA)
  • Food System Innovations (CA)

Athletics teams can be sustainability’s secret sauce. College athletes are often treated like celebrities, making them powerful influencers for catalyzing campus-wide change and rallying enthusiasm for bold sustainability initiatives ...

  • Posted Aug. 31, 2023
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Sustainable Food Production at Yale

  • Yale University (CT)

Yale is being recognized as a Top Performer in the category of Diversity & Affordability in the 2023 SCI.


Acadia Receives Organic Campus Designation

  • Acadia University (NS)

Acadia University receives its Organic Campus Certificate from the Canada Organic Trade Association making it the first university in Canada to earn the national designation.


Sustainable Dining

  • Denison University (OH)
  • Bon Appétit Management Company

Resuable containers for meals to-go at Slayter Market. Championed by Denison Green Team and supported by Bon Appetit.


Sustainability & Wellness

  • Denison University (OH)
  • Bon Appétit Management Company

Weekly tabling showcasing health, wellness, and sustainability.


Sustainability Tour of the Yale Farm

  • Yale University (CT)

As part of Celebrate Sustainability Week at Yale in October 2022, the Yale Office of Sustainability, in partnership with the Office of International Students & Scholars, organized a “Lunch and ...


A case study of sustainable hospitality education relating to food waste from the perspective of transformative learning theory

  • Shih Chien University

This study applies a critical tourism approach and transformative learning theory to examine the factors influencing students to take a food design course and the relationships among students' learning intentions ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Incentives and penalties tied to sales volume in contracts between beverage companies and public universities in the United States

  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (MD)
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest (DC)

To assess whether and how beverage companies incentivize universities to maximize sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) sales through pouring rights contracts. Cross-sectional study of contracts between beverage companies and public U.S ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Informative initiatives as a useful tool to raise awareness of food waste. An application to higher education

  • University of Zaragoza

Purpose: Because food waste is a serious problem today, society is currently aiming for more responsible consumption to minimize it, as defined in the 12th goal of the United Nations ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Environmental and Climate Impact Perceptions in University Students: Sustainability Motivations and Perceptions Correspond with Lower Red Meat Intake

  • Merrimack College (MA)
  • University of California, Davis (CA)
  • University of Michigan (MI)
  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (MD)

Background: Red meat production is a leading contributor to food-related greenhouse gas emissions. Decreasing red meat intake can mitigate climate change and lower risk of diet-related diseases. Objective: The goal ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Community relationships and sustainable university food procurement

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC)

Many universities are working toward more sustainable campus dining food systems. Third-party standards that offer definitions of sustainable food and outline procurement goals are one tool universities can use to ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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What's to Eat and Drink on Campus? Public and Planetary Health, Public Higher Education, and the Public Good.

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (CA)

Public higher education institutions (PHEIs) have a unique and important role in responding to the public and planetary health crisis—they are centers of research on public and planetary health ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Valuation of student-led agricultural activities at university: comparison of willingness to pay with inferred values

  • Ritsumeikan University

Agricultural fields in university campuses can improve urban nutrition security, increase greenery, and provide opportunities for students to grow crops and enhance self-management skills. We conducted student surveys among freshmen ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Evaluating the successes and challenges toward achieving the Real Food Commitment at Johns Hopkins University

  • Johns Hopkins University (MD)
  • SAGE Fund

With their significant purchasing power, institu­tions of higher education can create substantial changes in the food system through their food purchases. The Real Food Challenge launched a national campaign ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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The college campus as a living laboratory for meaningful food system transformation

  • University at Albany (NY)
  • Johnson & Wales University, Providence (RI)

As has become abundantly clear to the social scientists, agriculturalists, policymakers, and food justice advocates who have taken up the fight, progress toward more resilient, fair, and effective food systems ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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Students as co-researchers: Using participatory action research to address college food insecurity

  • University of San Francisco (CA)

Studies indicate that college students experience high rates of food insecurity. Growing awareness of food insecurity on college campuses has resulted in efforts by many institutions to address the prob ...

  • Posted June 15, 2023
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This tab provides access to data collected through AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS enables meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community.

All responses reference content from reports under the latest version of STARS, version 2.2. AASHE membership and log-in is required.

OP 7: Food and Beverage Purchasing

OP 8: Sustainable Dining

Additional analysis on scores and quantitative fields can be conducted using the STARS Benchmarking Tool.

Food & Dining Partners