Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.56
Liaison Kristeena Blaser
Submission Date Aug. 25, 2021

STARS v2.2

Oklahoma State University
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.88 / 2.00 Kristeena Blaser
Sustainability Coordinator
Energy Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host a farmers market, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, 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:

The farmer’s market was discontinued based on lack of interest from local farmers to travel to campus. However, OSU Dining Services teams up with OSU's Food & Agricultural Products Center on the “The Farm to University Dining" program, designed to bring local, fresh, healthy food to the university from Oklahoma farmers.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-themed food outlet:

1) Roots is an eco-friendly eatery that serves fair trade coffee, vegan and vegetarian options. 2) Red Earth Kitchen is designed to promote locally sourced food, 3) The Natural specializes in vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and alergen free options.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor support disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through its food and beverage purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the support for disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Estimated percentage of total food and beverage expenditures on products from disadvantaged businesses, social enterprises, and/or local SMEs:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events or promote plant-forward options?:
Yes

A brief description of the low impact dining events and/or plant-forward options:

1) Free cooking classes for students and staff include vegetarian meals such as Three Bean Chili and are followed by sharing the meal and recipe. 2) We feature local produce grown in Oklahoma via a program called Farm Fresh. The first week of each month a fruit or vegetable is showcased across campus at nutrition awareness tables with free product samples, creative recipes, and nutritional information, which create an interest in trying the food. The item is utilized in a variety of menu options across campus for the month. 3) We host an annual MIO Fair (vendors in the Made In Oklahoma program showcase their products and give samples to participants).We also feature Made in Oklahoma products monthly. This gives students a chance to meet local food vendors and sample their products. The goal is to increase awareness of the importance of buying locally produced products.


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:

We offer a variety of dining options that accommodate vegan lifestyles in our dining facilities daily including a stir-fry wok location, four salad bars (one of which is self-service), and a growing presence of vegan choices in our convenience stores. Every meal offers complete-protein vegan options such as sunbutter or peanut butter sandwiches, beans & rice, hummus & pita, nuts, seeds, almond milk, soy milk and other soy products. One dining facility, Passport, features only international fare and includes many vegan options. One convenience store offers "Tasty Bites" items, many of which are vegan.

Vegan cheese has been introduced in a new dining concept called The Natural. At The Natural, food is prepared in a controlled environment, making it allergen-friendly and suitable to those who may have certain dietary needs. All menu items, including salads, flatbreads and paninis, are gluten-free as well.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor inform customers about low impact food choices and sustainability practices through labelling and signage in dining halls?:
Yes

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

Signage on digital menu boards and table tents near dining venue registers and on dining tables promote programs such as "Cups for a Cause" refillable discount cups, items such as durable shopping bags, and events such as the Sustainability Dinner and healthy cooking classes.


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:

University Dining Services uses an online tracking method to reduce over purchase and over stocking that could lead to spoilage. We are enrolled in the EPA Food Recovery Challenge commitment program and report data annually.


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:

Trays have been removed from all dining outlets.


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:

UDS' Celebrations Catering has partnered with the leaders of the Panhellenic Meal program to donate leftover food from the Panhellenic Meals to Wings of Hope. There were meal donations from 9 meals during Bid Week. Catering supplied containers and Panhellenic staff picked up the food from the Catering office to deliver it to Wings of Hope. Catering customers may make arrangements in advance for leftover individually-wrapped foods and whole fruit to be donated to local food banks or shelters.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor divert food materials from the landfill, incinerator or sewer for animal feed or industrial uses?:
Yes

A brief description of the food materials diversion program:

Cooking oil is collected at each dining facility for conversion into other oils and lubricants.


Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor have a pre-consumer composting program?:
Yes

A brief description of the pre-consumer composting program:

Campus kitchen staff separate produce scraps and coffee grounds for local farmers to take away and compost on their local farms.


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:
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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:

Reusable service ware is used for "dine in" meals in a few campus locations.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the compostable containers and service ware:

University Dining Services offers compostable, biodegradable and/or recyclable content containers. At this time, there is no nearby composting program that will accept organic containers or food waste. The closest facility is about 100 miles away.


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

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

UDS sells "Cups for a Cause" reusable, lidded cups at $6.99 each, which can be refilled at virtually every dining outlet on campus with coffee, tea or soda for only 99 cents. Regardless of the current years' design, discount refills with any previous "Cups for a Cause" cup is honored.


A brief description of other sustainability-related initiatives not covered above:

OSU participates in Partnership for a Healthier America campus wide. The program has a food service component that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, a healthy icon program (Choose Orange), trayless dining, plant-based options and healthier dessert items.

The “Choose Orange” food-labeling program encourages students to choose healthier options while dining on campus by easily identifying better-for-you choices without having to read a nutrition label. The program is based on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and qualified items are identified by a “Choose Orange” logo. Some Choose Orange items are also MIO (Made In Oklahoma) products.

Five outlets are Oklahoma Department of Health Certified Healthy Restaurants: Bread & Beyond, Country BBQ, Which Wich, The Natural, and Zest.

North Dining’s Noodle U includes noodle soups and food featuring the following cuisines: Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican and Chinese.

The Zest menu at North Dining was created using only Halal meats. Halal meats include ground beef, flank and chicken. Mediterranean food served at Zest includes menu items from Moroccan, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, and Israeli cuisines.


Website URL where information about the sustainable dining programs is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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