Cal Dining is dedicated to providing an environmentally friendly dining program that supports the Cal community. We have been recognized as leaders for our initiatives, including:
- First four green certified buildings on Cal’s campus, including all residential dining locations
- First university organic certification & 100% organic salad bars in all residential dining locations
- Donate food to a non-profit family shelter
- Collect over 100 tons of food waste for composting; post-consumer waste; and residential composting pilot for to-go containers & food waste
- Recycle within our food service operations
- Purchase environmentally friendly items, such as cleaning products, biodegradable take-out containers, cups and plastic utensils
- Offer discounts for reusable beverage containers and bags
- Offer natural, organic and environmentally packaged products in retail
- Partner with campus environmental leaders, Cal Recycling & Refuse and Unit Residential Sustainability Education Coordinators
- Provide 100% made-in-the-USA uniforms and pay a living wage
- Food highlights; organic, cage-free eggs; require fair trade – or better – coffee as a minimum standard; “Farm to Table (Slow Food)” concept at Clark Kerr dining commons in fall 2007; trans-fat free in all facilities.
- To read more about our green dining efforts, click here to read the campus sustainability report. Also, check out CalTV's "Going Green" online episode featuring Cal Dining!
Please check out our Sustainability Resumé available here.
Cal Dining now serves seafood certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Current MSC offerings include Alaskan Pollack, Blue Fin Tuna, and Cape Capensis. Look for the MSC eco-label on menus.
MSC is a global nonprofit that sets standards for wild fisheries around the world. These standards help ensure the sustainability of fish stocks, minimize environmental impacts, and promote better fishery management.
To use the eco-label, Cal Dining underwent Chain-of-Custody certification, ensuring that the MSC seafood comes from a certified distributor and is kept separate from non-certified seafood. Cal Dining received MSC certification in June 2011 and began serving MSC seafood in October 2011.
Naked Bear Magazine
Naked Bear Magazine was founded in Spring 2010 to educate and inform Cal students and the campus community about food sustainability issues and practices. Undergraduate and graduate students from a wide variety of academic fields took the DeCal Class Food Sustainability Journalism where they wrote articles that focused on topics relating to Cal students and Berkeley residents.
Niman Ranch Beef
Cal Dining and Niman Ranch Serve Up All-Natural Gourmet Burgers
Cal Dining at the University of California at Berkeley will begin serving hamburgers made with all natural Niman Ranch beef. Niman Ranch’s animals are raised on small U.S. family ranches without the use of hormones or antibiotics and are fed an all vegetarian diet.
The decision to incorporate Niman Ranch into their menu is in response to the growing demand of patrons who are interested in how and where their food is raised, but still want delicious taste.
“We feel that this partnership with Niman Ranch will provide a hamburger that not only tastes great, but that our students can also feel good about,” Shawn LaPean, Director of Cal Dining said. “This is just one more way we can demonstrate our efforts to be a socially responsible campus...”
Click here to view full article.
Visit the Niman Ranch homepage.
In the fall of 2007, Cal Dining began a new clean, green, sustainable program by partnering with Blue Sky Bio-Fuels located in Oakland. Blue Sky Bio-Fuels picks up our grease and oil and turns it into bio-diesel. They provides bio-diesel for the Oakland School District school buses and transport vehicles in the Bay Area through the Biofuels4Schools and the Clean Air for kids campaigns . Biodiesel is an alternative fuel; produced from domestic, renewable resources like natural oils, waste restaurant grease, algae and other oil sources. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications, is biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.
Click here for more information about Blue Sky Bio-Fuels.
Buy Fresh Buy Local
Cal Dining is proud to announce its alliance with the "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" campaign -- a sister organization of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Growers' Collaborative. "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" is a group which is committed to "...helping consumers find and choose local products while building relationships between growers, food artisans, farmers' markets retailers, restaurants and institutions."
By signing a contract with "Buy Fresh, Buy Local", Cal Dining has agreed to the minimum standard of at least 10% local purchases, with the goal of 25%. We are proud to announce that already, we are way ahead of the minimum -- with up to 60% of our produce purchases, in season, coming from within a 16 county radius of UC-Berkeley.
For more information about the new partnership between Cal Dining and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, see this article.
To see who our farmers are, click here.
Clean Plate, Clean Planet
Students also help us be environmentally friendly by recycling and reducing waste. Specifically in the all-you-care-to-eat dining halls, students are encouraged to take a reasonable amount of food — “take what you want, but please eat what you take.” This cuts down on food waste and keeps food costs under control, which allows us to have more variety in our menus.
Student Sustainability Coordinators from Cal Recycles help educate students throughout the year about food waste. They also educate students in the residence halls about recycling and water and energy conservation.