All residential dining halls on campus that day will feature a lunch menu of locally produced and organic foods to highlight the student-supported program “Go Blue, Eat Local.” Entrees will include fresh fruits and produce, meats, dairy products, pasta, cider and honey from regional family farms, orchards and food processors.
Dining hall table napkins are 100 percent recycled fiber, and raw food waste from meal preparation is collected for composting.
Each of the University Unions operated restaurants and cafes also will feature special dishes made of local and organic ingredients.
With student engagement and initiative in the “Go Blue, Eat Local” campaign, sustainable dining has been a “growing” enterprise in Residential Dining Services during the past few years. Today RDS purchases locally produced foods from more than 30 Michigan farmers and suppliers. Regional foods represent nearly 20 percent of the total annual food purchases for residential dining facilities. Buying local means reducing the energy consumption (and carbon output) needed to bring food to the table.
Sustainable dining also means buying food from suppliers who embrace natural processes and “green” practices.
University officials also encourage students to avoid wasting food in their daily selections. One approach is encouraging students to go “trayless,” which requires them to take less food at a time. And water and energy resources are conserved when fewer trays have to be washed.
Sustainable practices in U-M residential dining facilities, combined with the long success of recycling and energy conservation programs in residence halls and campus apartments, are important parts of University Housing’s commitment to stewardship of resources, officials say.
Carrie Stefanski, right, marketing communications specialist, Information & Technology Services, on roller derby action: “I was able to get up quickly and rush to the front of the pack and knock down the opposing jammer. It was very satisfying.”