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

 2017-18 Priorities and Outcomes

  • Continue implementation of compost bins in TUC Dining Locations.
    • Composting bins and signage were deployed throughout the Sierra Center Dining facility. To help reduce contamination of the organics waste stream, a robust education program (signage, trainings, etc.) will be deployed, with the goal of being able to compost this material by July 1, 2018.
  • Investigate excess food waste in TUC kitchens.
    • All pre-consumer food waste, as well as leftover buffet food that cannot be donated, is composted at The Institute’s Sustainable Garden Education Center (not including meat and dairy products). Since July 01, 2017 The Food Recovery Network has collected and donated 9,780 pounds of leftover food from TUC locations, and will be expanding collections to recover even more material next year.
  • Analyze food nutrition and publish at TUC locations.
    • Nutritional information is being calculated for each item TUC serves. Once information for all items has been determined, it will be made available online and at TUC locations.
  • Investigate opportunities for shifting advertisements to show more healthy choices.
    • Data from a student-conducted marketing assessment has been analyzed to determine what advertising shifts can be made. The University Corporation is evaluating these suggestions and determining their feasibility for implementation.
  • Develop survey to investigate student’s perception of water on campus.
    • Students in a Sustainability 401 course surveyed 141 students on whether or not they bring a reusable bottle to campus and their beliefs on the drinkability of CSUN’s water sources. These results will be used to target education efforts regarding water and water safety.

 Other Highlights

  • The University Corporation provided 4 food demos.
  • The Institute for Sustainability was recognized by the LA Food Policy Council, Food Forward, and the Southern California Association of Governments for its work toward sustainable food systems.
  • The AS Sustainability Committee used a grant from Raw Inspirations to create a garden at the AS Children's Center.
  • The University Corporation hosted their first Green Week event which consisted of double discounts for reusable cups, a “Show us Your Green” – sustainable coupon concept, promotion of TUC Sustainability Initiatives, etc.

  2018-19 Priorities 

  • Begin sourcing herbs and produce locally from campus gardens.
  • Host one sustainability themed meal per semester.
  • Increase percentage of expenditures on Real Food.

 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.