Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.12
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Portland State University
SD-2: Food Education

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete N/A Jenny McNamara
Sustainability Manager
Campus Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Are students educated in an academic class about how to make eco-positive food choices?:

Provide a brief description:

There are several classes across disciplines that address eco-positive food choices.

PSU offers a class that works at a local farm, Wealth Underground, and addresses issues like growing and sourcing local food.

More information can be found here:

Now in it’s second year, PSU also offers a Freshman Inquiry class around our campus "Legacy Garden" which tailors curriculum around food, sustainability, leadership, art, social responsibility, and the interconnections that exist within these topics.

There have also been several food based capstone courses offered including: "Food, Democracy and Sustainability", "Urban Agriculture and Food Systems", and "Indigenous Gardens and Food Justice"

PSU owns a large site called the Learning Gardens Laboratory where permaculture courses are taught through the Leadership for Sustainability Education program

Finally, there are several classes taught through the Business and Administration department around the impacts of our food supply chain.

Are students educated in dining facilities about how to make eco-positive food choices?:

Provide a brief description:

There are campus events, such as the Conservation Challenge which highlight the impacts of various food choices and work with dining services to implement events like "meatless mondays" to bring attention to the environmental impacts of meat production and consumption.

Dining services sometimes uses a system of icons in dining halls and at campus events to denote certain food options like vegan, vegetarian, local, organic, etc. for consumers.

An upcoming student project, "Bringing Farm Workers to the Sustainable Food Table at PSU" will take place during National Farm Worker Awareness Week. Visible resources will be situated within the Smith Memorial Student Union Food Court to educate students on the intersection between the origins of the food they are consuming and the farm workers who grow and harvest it in Oregon. There will also be 30-minute lunch sessions at the PSU food court that create a space for more discussion around strengthening the link between the food in our dining facilities and the rights of farm workers.

Are students educated during orientation about how to make eco-positive food choices?:

Provide a brief description:

Party in the Park, a welcome event for students, includes booths about local food, gardening, and other eco-food related topics.

Are students educated in other venues about how to make eco-positive food choices?:

Provide a brief description:

Dining services also uses a system of icons where appropriate at campus events to denote certain food options like vegan, vegetarian, local, organic, etc. for consumers.

Several student groups - Food Action Collective and the Ecological Restoration Guild hold food focused events that inform the student community and increase Eco-positive food choice awareness.

Is there a program by which students are encouraged to and/or taught how to grow their own food?:

Provide a brief description of the program:

The garden task force within the Sustainability Volunteer Program allows students to gain hands-on experience working in gardens. They are provided the opportunity to grow edibles and educate their peers. They also host workshops that share how to preserve fresh foods (ex: elderberry workshop, fermentation workshop).

Students can also apply for one of ~ 45 spaces in PSU's community garden. They can plant and harvest their own foods. Workshops are offered to teach skills about harvesting and cooking foods.

The Sustainability Leadership Center offers some container gardening workshops for on-campus residents and other students.

The PSU Community Orchard is one of the newest student projects on campus. The goal is to transform a piece of vacant land adjacent to the PSU Community Garden into a thriving small fruits orchard and to provide students with research and experimentation opportunities to practice urban ecological restoration techniques and small-scale agriculture.

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