Sustainable Food Program

Students from the Green Living Council tend the organic garden at Manzanita Dining

The Sustainable Food Program is dedicated to educating students and the community about how their food choices impact the environment. In collaboration with students, staff, and faculty, we raise awareness through lectures, special events, academic partnerships, and hands-on learning in our cooking classes and organic teaching gardens. 

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Sustainable Food Standards and Philosophy Ethos
Learn more about our sustainable food standards and philosophy.

Sustainable Food Program Strategic Objectives

Our strategic objectives are:

Current Sustainable Food Program Initiatives


  • Committed to purchasing local and organic ingredients

  • Purchasing (and pre-paying for) local and organic produce direct from Pie Ranch

  • Farm Accelerator program working with four local, organic small farms directly

  • Serving cage-free eggs from Wilcox Family Farms

  • Serving organic and local milk from Straus Family Creamery

  • Serving only humanely-raised, antibiotic-free, grass-fed beef from Australia

  • Serving only antibiotic-free chicken from Wayne Farms.

  • Purchasing Deliciously Imperfect organic produce from Coke Farm that would otherwise not be sold.

  • Buying organic produce direct from the O'Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm

  • Only serving seafood rated "Good" or "Best" by The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch

  • Serving humanely-raised, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free pork from Niman Ranch

  • Serving sustainably-caught, wild Alaskan salmon purchased directly from Taku River Reds family fishery

  • Serving invasive species (Chesapeake Bay Channel Catfish) from Sea2Table

  • Serving only organic apples (conventional apples are #1 on the USDA’s Dirty Dozen list)

  • Serving organic romaine lettuce and mixed salad greens from local Earthbound Farms

  • Serving local and organic herbs from Jacobs Farm

  • Serving organic tofu from Wildwood

  • Serving organic lentils from Timeless Natural Food

  • Serving organic and/or Rainforest Alliance tea from Steep and Lipton

Other Sustainability Initiatives:

  • Co-creator of Menus of Change University Research Collaborative

  • Co-creator of Bay Area Sustainable Sourcing Group

  • Converting used cooking oil to biodiesel

  • Dining in the Daylight program to reduce energy usage

  • Water reduction program

  • Composting food waste

  • Trayless dining program

  • Food donation

  • Stanford Seed Library

  • BeWell Community Gardens

  • Organic Teaching Gardens

  • Know Your Food educational program

  • Know Your Food Lending Library in Arrillaga Family Dining Commons

Recognition and Awards for Our Commitment to Sustainability

  • R&DE Stanford Dining joined the World Resource Institute’s Better Buying Lab (2016)

  • R&DE co-founded the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative with the Culinary Institute of America (2015)

  • R&DE, Stanford University was named Peta(2)'s favorite vegan-friendly college. (2015)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining became the nation’s first campus dining program to be REAL Certified for its use of nutrition and sustainability best practices. (2015)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining was certified by the United States Healthful Food Council as a Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) restaurant for its use of nutrition and sustainability best practices. (2015)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining was the 2015 recipient of the Hobart Center for Food Sustainability Grant for being the most innovative and best-executed foodservice sustainability organization of the year. (2015)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining’s Florence Moore Dining Hall received 4 star certification from the Green Restaurant Association (2015)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining won the 2012 NACUFS Sustainability Silver Award for the Sustainable Food Program- Living Laboratory (2012)

  • R&DE, Stanford University received an “A” for Food and Recycling, Sustainable Endowments Institute College Sustainability Report Card (2007 and 2008)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining was awarded the Acterra Business Environmental Award for Sustainability (2007)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining received a Special Recognition in Sustainability from U.S. Congress (2007)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining was given the PG&E Award for Leadership in Applying Green Building Design (2006)

  • R&DE Stanford Dining was one of the first university food service operations certified as a green business by Santa Clara County (2004)