Sourcing Sustainable Food at UC Berkeley

Civil Eats recently published an article highlighting efforts across the ten University of California (UC) campuses to increase the amount of sustainable food purchased by university food services. According to its 2016 Annual Report on Sustainable Practices, the UC system has already met its 2020 goal of procuring 20% of its food from local, community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane food sources. As of 2016, sustainable food made up 22% of purchases ($16.9 million) in residential dining programs and 18% ($7.2 million) in retail food operations. At UC Berkeley, those numbers are even higher, at 27% in resident dining halls and 22% in campus restaurants, according to Sam Lubow, the Environment Initiatives Coordinator at Cal Dining.

Lubow shared some of Cal Dining’s successes in increasing sustainable food options:

    • Bill Niman Ranch provides over half of Cal Dining’s beef (which is grassfed) and pork (which is certified humane).
    • The majority of chicken is certified humane, locally raised, handled, and distributed from Petaluma Poultry.
    • All seafood served is listed on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide as “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative.”
    • All drip coffee served on campus is fair trade certified. The Peet’s medium roast is a Las Hermanas blend, a single-origin, women-owned cooperative in Nicaragua.
    • All rice is locally grown from Rue and Forsman Ranch.
    • All milk is locally produced and American Humane Certified from Clover Stornetta Farms.
    • Local produce is prioritized whenever possible, with over fifty cases coming from Pie Ranch in Pescadero each week.

You can learn more about Cal Dining’s sustainability efforts here.We are proud of the sustainability efforts that the UC system and Cal Dining have already implemented, and excited about their plans for the future!