Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.00
Liaison Jonna Korpi
Submission Date Nov. 4, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Minnesota, Duluth
OP-8: Sustainable Dining

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Betsy Helgeson
Director
UMD 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?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable dining policy:
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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:

We source food from the UMD Land Lab. http://d.umn.edu/landlab/

"The UMD Land Lab hosts ca. 12 acres of organically managed fields amid a 30 acre, bio-diverse landscape. We educate young people in sustainable agriculture and supply thousands of pounds of fresh produce to our campus dining services.

UMD’s Dining Services plays a visionary role in the UMD Land Lab, supporting personnel needs and purchasing produce grown via organic field methods (~40,000 pounds projected in 2016) which is mostly served on campus. More than a thousand students annually participate in on site experiential learning activities at our field site. Our UMD campus in turn is modelling how to transition an institution in the wake of the social and ecological changes unfolding around us."


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:

The CSA on campus is hosted by the Employee Wellness Program, not Dining. Approximately 50-100 staff/faculty/students subscribe to the CSA model that is offered through campus. http://www.d.umn.edu/sustainability/news/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?:
No

A brief description of the vegan dining program:
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Does the institution or its primary dining services contractor host low impact dining events (e.g. Meatless Mondays)?:
No

A brief description of the low impact dining events:
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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:

We have a harvest dinner featuring local items in the fall.


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:

At the beginning of each semester, Dining Services partners with the Office of Sustainability to host Food Waste Awareness day. During this event, student peer educators provide signage throughout the dining center that talks about food waste and smart food waste-reducing choices. The educators also spend the entire day near the dish drop with additional signage and compost bins, encouraging students to scrape their plates into the compost bin and raising student awareness around how much food is wasted (and that UMD composts the waste) in a non-shaming, educational way. This event was began in Spring 2017 by a student seeing a need to increase dining center user education.


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:

The UMD Land Lab hosts Farm Fest each fall -- inviting campus and community members to the farm for an on-site farmer and local goods market, a (mostly) farm-sourced meal, activities for kids & families, and incorporates local artists through a play by the puppet troupe.

Additionally, the Office of Sustainability student staff table around food/sustainable food systems throughout the year and host speakers to talk about food issues. The Office of Sustainability also features local fare during the annual Sustainability Fair that occurs during Fall semester each year.

The Environment and Sustainability major in the Geography department features several classes about food: sustainable food systems, anthropology of food, etc. Through these classes, students engage in intensive learning/research about sustainable food systems and are given the opportunity to attend conferences, etc. focusing on sustainable agriculture.


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:

The Dining Center chefs are diligent in responding to requests for culturally diverse options and try to offer a variety of foods that will appeal to a broad audience of eaters.

Staff and faculty have incentives to participate in health and wellness initiatives through the Wellbeing Points program. Some initiatives that are very popular are: Cooking for Wellness group classes, Intuitive Eating, Wellness Collaborative potluck, Weight Watchers, etc.


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:

UMD Dining Services uses a food forecasting system to accurately estimate food production needs and reduce waste/overproduction. This system is constantly getting feedback each day based on the number of trays of food being produced, used, and leftover in order to improve forecasting for the next time that meal is served. This forecasting has greatly reduced the amount of food that is thrown out as well as reduced the food being donated off campus, creating a more efficient and economically sound food production system.


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:

We went trayless in our dining center approximately 5 years ago (2014-ish).


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:

Yes, we donate food to the local food bank, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. In 2018, UMD Dining Services donated 20,300lbs to Second Harvest.


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:

UMD Dining sends food scraps to local farmers for pig feed -- exact amounts are not tracked. Coffee grounds from the coffee shop are sent to UMD Land Lab to supplement the soil through composting. Cooking oil is recycled through Sani-Max and recycled into products like bio-diesel, crayons, and lipstick. Our oil container is picked up every 2 weeks throughout the year. 2018 saw 7.4 tons of cooking oil recycled for other uses.


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:

The main production kitchen puts pre-consumer waste from food prep (potato peels, carrot tops, skins, etc.) into compost collection bins which are run through a state of the art food pulper before being sent to the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) industrial composting facility.


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

A brief description of the post-consumer composting program:

Food waste on plates that are returned through the dish drop in the dining center is pulped in the dish room using a state of the art pulper that reduces the water content of the food waste and creates a consistent material input for composting. The pulped food waste is then picked up and sent to WLSSD's industrial composting facility and is used with other yard waste to make Garden Green compost.

UMD offers public compost collection bins across campus to collect food scraps, compostable disposables, etc. 85-90% of the disposable to-go products offered in the UMD Dining retail outlets (UMD Food Court, Northern Shores Coffee Shop, Center Court Restaurant) are compostable and can be placed in any compost bin on campus, eventually making their way to WLSSD's industrial compost facility.


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:

The UMD Dining Center (or DC) and Center Court Restaurant offers virtually waste-free dining. Food leftovers are collected for composting (through partnership at the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District), and all other silverware, plates, bowls, and cups are washed and re-used.

UMD catering also offers reusable service ware as an option for any catered event.


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:

UMD offers public compost collection bins across campus to collect food scraps, compostable disposables, etc.

85-90% of the disposable to-go products offered in the UMD Dining retail outlets (UMD Food Court, Northern Shores Coffee Shop, Center Court Restaurant) are compostable and can be placed in any compost bin on campus, eventually making their way to WLSSD's industrial compost facility.


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:

The coffee shop and food court offer a 25 cent discount for anyone bringing their own mug/cup for their beverage.


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:

Meal planning, portion-controlled serving & bulk ordering reduces costs & packaging. Leftover food that can be donated is given to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, both to help people and reduce waste (in 2013 alone, over 10,000 pounds of food was donated!). Aluminum, plastic and glass are recycled, and bakery produce brought in reusable containers. Biodegradable and compostable plates, coffee cups, and utensils are provided in the Food Court and Northern Shores Coffee Shop.

UMD Catering offers events with 0% waste for groups over 25 people by utilizing washable dishware, linen napkins, donating unused food and composting leftover/uneaten food.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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UMD Dietician has a Dietitian's Dish blog at:
http://rddish.blogspot.com/

To accommodate gluten-sensitive or allergic people, there are many gluten-friendly options on campus:
UMD Dining Services has a number of specialty gluten free products available.
Dining Center
Udi's Gluten Free Hamburger Bun
Udi's Gluten Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
French Meadow Bakery Gluten Free Honey Multigrain Bread
Food Court
Udi's Gluten Free Hamburger Bun
Sandwich Bread
Angie's Artisan Treats brand popcorn
12" Pizza Crust*

*Taste of Italia offers 12” Gluten Free Pizzas – these are made to order and cooked on a specified clean aluminum pan and cut with a pizza cutter specifically used on gluten free pizza orders only.
Northern Shores Coffee
Gluten free cookies
Udi's gluten free muffins
Udi's gluten free bagel

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