Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.84
Liaison Kalyna Procyk
Submission Date June 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Muhlenberg College
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
1.88 / 2.00 Peter Stark
Operations Manager
Muhlenberg Dining
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a published sustainable dining policy?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor source food from a campus garden or farm?:
Yes

A brief description of the program to source food from a campus garden or farm:

Muhlenberg occaisionally uses herbs and lettuce that are grown in the hydroponic garden in the Wood Dining Commons.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, and/or urban agriculture project, or support such a program in the local community?:
Yes

A brief description of the farmers market, CSA or urban agriculture project:

Yes. Our student group, ENACT, organizes a fall and spring Farmers Market. Any products leftover from the market are purchased by Dining Services and utilized in the Dining Commons. The Dining Commons is also a distribution point for a CSA.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a vegan dining program that makes diverse, complete-protein vegan options available to every member of the campus community at every meal?:
Yes

A brief description of the vegan dining program:

Yes. Muhlenberg does offer complete-protein vegan options at all meals in our main dining hall. We ensure that all customers can always fulfill their dietary needs through broccoli and our locally sourced tofu, and other offerings at the salad bar, edamame at Croutons, and through a variety of other vegan and vegetarian meal offerings. Our digital monitors at each restaurant provide labels that distinguish between vegan and vegetarian. Above each of our stations in the main dining hall, there is a screen that lists what foods are being offered there. Next to each dish’s name, there is either no label, signifying the current offerings are neither vegan nor vegetarian, an orange “V”, signifying it is vegetarian, or a green “VG”, meaning it’s vegan. The information concerning these labels can be found here: https://dining.muhlenberg.edu/health/index.html
The vegan options are accessible to all members of the campus community. In our main dining hall, we offer vegan options daily at the salad bar, Wildfire Grille as well as at the Nosheries. Though you can order a variety of foods at the Wildfire Grille, grilled vegetables are always an option there for lunch and dinner. Depending on what the menu is on a given day, there could be vegan options at other stations as well. For example, looking at the lunch menu for a typical Monday, the vegan options at other stations include:
Magellan’s: Orzo with eggplant and red pepper, summer squash, and fresh cauliflower.
Mangia Mangia: Fra Diavolo sauce and basil marinara sauce to accompany fresh house-made pasta.
Croutons: Apple walnut and wild rice salad and Tuscan chopped salad, balsamic vinegar, tabbouleh salad, hummus and edamame.
The website URL where information about the vegan dining program is available: https://dining.muhlenberg.edu/health/index.html


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events:

Yes. Meatless Mondays are featured throughout the academic year.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host sustainability-themed meals (e.g. local harvest dinners)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed meals:

Yes. We hold at least one Farm to Table dinner per year and this past fall we had Fall Harvest Picnic highlighting foods from local farms


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a sustainability-themed food outlet on-site, either independently or in partnership with a contractor or retailer?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labeling and signage in dining halls?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability labeling and signage in dining halls:

Muhlenberg does provide labels that distinguish between vegan and vegetarian. Above each of our stations in the main dining hall, there is a screen that lists what foods are being offered there. Next to each dish’s name, there is either no label, signifying the current offerings are neither vegan nor vegetarian, an orange “V”, signifying it is vegetarian, or a green “VG”, meaning it’s vegan. The information concerning these labels can be found here: https://dining.muhlenberg.edu/health/index.html


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor engage in outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the outreach efforts to support learning and research about sustainable food systems:

Currently working with a local hydroponic farmer to research and test different concentrations of nutrients in our small scale hydroponic garden. The results will enable the farmer to better maximize his yield. The project is being run by a student intern. Academic departments are also exploring ways to include more sustainability topics into the curriculum.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have other sustainability-related initiatives (e.g. health and wellness initiatives, making culturally diverse options available)?:
Yes

A brief description of the other sustainability-related dining initiatives:

Our Chefs work with many student groups, especially culturally diverse clubs, to provide different ethnic foods. We recently partnered on an international week and on one night provided different foods from around the world at eight of our restaurants. This was also run in conjunction with performances in an adjacent room from the clubs.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor participate in a competition or commitment program and/or use a food waste prevention system to track and improve its food management practices?:
Yes

A brief description of the food recovery competition or commitment program or food waste prevention system:

Yes. We conduct a Weigh the Waste program on a monthly basis and “re-plate” food, for display purposes only, of whole servings that were returned to our dish room. This program is run in conjunction with ENACT.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented trayless dining (in which trays are removed from or not available in dining halls) and/or modified menus/portions to reduce post-consumer food waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the trayless dining or modified menu/portion program:

Yes. We have a “Think Before You Tray” program that encourages our guests to o tray-free. For ADA reasons and our two-story dining room, we still need to have trays available but we only put out a minimum numbers. The vast majority of our guests opt for tray-free dining.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor donate food that would otherwise go to waste to feed people?:
Yes

A brief description of the food donation program:

Muhlenberg College donates highly perishable products to food banks at significant breaks in the College's academic calendar.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses (e.g. converting cooking oil to fuel, on-site anaerobic digestion)?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

We utilize a pulping system to reduce the volume of waste, have single stream recycling, and recycle cardboard. Our cooking oil is used to produce biodiesel through a third party.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

Muhlenberg College does not have a formal pre-consumer food waste composting program. However, we do participate in a few programs that contribute to pre-consumer waste re-use. For example, the peels of vegetables are used to make vegetable stocks for soups. Also, the MILE houses do have a composting program with the Community Garden.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a post-consumer composting program?:
No

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

The independent living MILE houses can opt into a composting program with the Community Garden.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor utilize reusable service ware for “dine in” meals?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable service ware program:

Yes – plates and cutlery are washed and reused.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor provide reusable and/or third party certified compostable containers and service ware for “to-go” meals (in conjunction with an on-site composting program)?:
Yes

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

We offer a discounted reusable mug refill program at all of our retail locations.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor offer discounts or other incentives to customers who use reusable containers (e.g. mugs) instead of disposable or compostable containers in “to-go” food service operations?:
Yes

A brief description of the reusable container discount or incentives program:

Muhlenberg College’s campus dining operations offer discounts to customers who use reusable mugs instead of disposable cups in to-go food service operations.
. Discounts are offered as an incentive to use reusable bottles. At the General Quarters, all refills are only $1.29. At Java Joe’s the coffee shop on campus mug refills are $0.899, any size reusable container is accepted.


Has the institution or its primary dining services contractor implemented other materials management initiatives to minimize waste not covered above (e.g. working with vendors and other entities to reduce waste from food packaging)?:
No

A brief description of other dining services materials management initiatives:
---

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information reported is accurate to the knowledge of:
Peter Stark, Operations Manager of Campus Dining, peterstark@muhlenberg.edu
John Pasquarello, General Manager of Campus Dining, johnpasquarello@muhlenberg.edu

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.