Sustainability

Dining

CSUN’s goal is to provide sustainable food choices that are healthy and delicious in its on campus food service locations.

Main Strategies

  1. Increase sustainable campus food sources
  2. Increase the availability of fresh, healthy vegetarian/vegan options on campus
  3. Provide nutrition and sustainability information for foods from campus food services

 Objectives for 2023

  1. Expand sourcing of sustainable foods
  2. Expand the selection of healthy foods
  3. Provide nutrition and sustainability information for foods from campus food services

 2016-17 Priorities and Outcomes

  • Increase percentage of Real Food purchases.
    • The University Corporation established a Real Food baseline of 7% and in order to increase their percentage they are focusing efforts in production kitchens. The strategy is to target top spend items so that they can achieve a larger impact. With several changes in place TUC has hired a student to update their Real Food Challenge Calculator to determine where they currently stand.
  • Increase ratio of sustainably produced versus traditionally produced animal products.
    • The University Corporation continues to review and select vendors who source sustainable products. They are currently researching the feasibility of providing alternative meat products at their locations.
  • Expand post-consumer composting operations.
    • The University Corporation is working with Athens Services to expand post-consumer composting.
  • Develop Healthy Choice options at each location.
    • Healthy Dining options are available at all TUC locations and Healthy Dining maps will help guide guests to better dining decisions. TUC has also implemented healthy choice Icons listed on price tags in the Mercado Stores.
  • Assess “Healthy Choice” vending machines and develop suggestions for improvements.
    • The assessment of the “Healthy Choice” vending machines was completed; the next step is to assess the impact the logo has on people’s perceptions.
  • Assess promotional materials and campus advertising.
    • TUC partnered with VISCOM to help produce window signage for the dining locations. The new signage promotes food products rather than soft drinks, energy drinks, etc.

 Other Highlights

  • A Chef from CSUN Dining presented a cooking demonstration at the CSUN Earth Fair of three, healthy, easy to make recipes. Tasting samples, as well as, recipe cards were provided for those interested in making the dish at home.
  • In collaboration with the Marilyn Magaram Center, CSUN Dining organized a monthly cooking demonstration at the weekly Farmers Market. Easy to prepare vegetarian dishes are highlighted to educate students regarding healthy cooking on a budget is possible.

 2017-18 Priorities

  • Continue implementation of compost bins in TUC Dining Locations.
  • Investigate excess food waste in TUC kitchens.
  • Analyze food nutrition and publish at TUC locations.
  • Investigate opportunities for shifting advertisements to show more healthy choices.
  • Develop survey to investigate student’s perception of water on campus.

 

To connect directly to the CSUN Dining Green Projects page click here.

Sustainable Vendors

Issue:

DS1.1

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Research vendors that can provide sustainably sourced supplies

Status:

MMC is working with CSA. Produce is from Underwood Family Farms.
F Sip uses Ground Works an LA based Certified Organic Roaster & Fair Trade.
TUC is determining their vendors supply, the Real Food Challenge will help with this effort.

Party Responsible:

TUC, IS, MMC

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Explore sustainable food vendors and evaluate opportunities for purchasing power through local CSU’s.

Franchise Food Sources

Issue:

DS1.2

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Research the sourcing of on campus food franchises.

Status:

All service ware was converted to paper products. Subway is converting to paper bags. El Pollo Loco to make adjustment to packaging their to-go orders to reduce the use of plastic bags and cutlery, changing to a single utensil option vs prepackaged plastic wrapped set.

Party Responsible:

TUC

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Investigate other franchise food service locations and improve their operations.

Purchase Recommendations

Issue:

DS1.3

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Formulate recommendations for consideration by purchasing and contracting personnel

Status:

In-progress.

Party Responsible:

TUC

Next/Action Items:

In-progress: TUC- Determine who the sustainable vendors are. Then make recommendations.

Use Sustainable Vendors

 

Issue:

DS1.4

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Increase the percentage of sustainably sourced foods offered by CSUN dining services

Status:

TUC is currently using: Family Tree, Ground Works, Driftwood farms. All chicken purchased is antibiotic and hormone free chicken. Free range chicken.

Party Responsible:

TUC

Next/Action Items:

In-progress: TUC will research alternative/additional vendors including United Natural Foods Incorporated (UNFI) as an alternative to SYSCO.

CSA Program

Issue:

DS1.5

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Increase the presence of the CSA program on campus

Status:

CSA has 22 current members, one more than last year. Box pick up is from 3pm-6pm on Tuesdays. This program has a capacity of 60 participants.

Party Responsible:

IS, MMC

Next/Action Items:

On-going: Evaluate ways to expand program.

Fresh Produce

Issue:

DS1.6

Priority:

3

Strategy:

Increase amount of fresh produce sold for students living on-campus

Status:

Farmers Market now on campus.

Party Responsible:

TUC

Next/Action Items:

On-going. Increase the attendances and purchases at the Farmers Market

Salad Bars

Issue:

DS2.1

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Expand salad bars to more campus dining facilities

Status:

There are no plans to expand the salad bars at OGB, G'Mos and Sierra Center. Every location has salads to order.

Party Responsible:

TUC

Next/Action Items:

 No further action.

Healthy Vegetarian Options

Issue:

DS2.2

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Develop and introduce more healthy, vegan/vegetarian option in campus dining facilities

Status:

Campus Food Report was completed 1/26/15 and highlights healthy vegan and vegetarian options at various locations.

Party Responsible:

TUC

Next/Action Items:

G'Mos to provide report on their healthy and vegetarian options.

Collaborative Program

Issue:

DS1.1

Priority:

1

Strategy:

Research vendors that can provide sustainably sourced supplies

Status:

MMC is working with CSA. Produce is from Underwood Family Farms.
F Sip uses Ground Works an LA based Certified Organic Roaster & Fair Trade.
TUC is determining their vendors supply, the Real Food Challenge will help with this effort.

Party Responsible:

TUC, IS, MMC

Next/Action Items:

In-progress. Explore sustainable food vendors and evaluate opportunities for purchasing power through local CSU’s.

Food Labeling

Issue:

DS3.1

Priority:

2

Strategy:

Design a labeling standard for food offerings to be used throughout campus dining. This could be done through a cooperative effort between the TUC and the Magaram Center. This may require the expansion of the digital menu boards being utilized in some dining facilities.

Status:

Computrition Menu Management software is a new module that displays info on food items, ingredients, calories, etc. This will be rolled out at G’Mos.

Party Responsible:

TUC, MMC, IS

Next/Action Items:

  In-progress.