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
  • 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
  • Antibiotic-free Chicken: 100% of our chicken is now antibiotic-free
  • Deliciously Imperfect: We are buying "ugly" or "seconds"organic produce from Coke Farm that would otherwise not be sold.
  • O'Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm: We are buying organic produce from the Stanford Educational Farm.
  • Serving seafood rated "Good" or "Best" by The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program
  • Serving humanely-raised, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free pork from Niman Ranch
  • Serving free-range, antibiotic-free chicken wings from local producer Petaluma Poultry
  • Serving sustainably-caught, wild Alaskan salmon purchased directly from Taku River Reds family fishery
  • 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 Fair Trade coffee 
  • Serving Fair Trade, organic, and/or Rainforest Alliance tea from Choice, Numi and Lipton
  • Converting used cooking oil to biodiesel
  • Serving spa water infused with fruit and herb blends
  • Wash Your Mug program to reduce usage of disposable cups
  • Dining in the Daylight program to reduce energy usage
  • Composting food waste in all dining halls
  • Trayless Dining program
  • Support of SPOON (Stanford Project on Hunger) and direct food donation
  • Stanford Seed Library
  • BeWell Community Gardens

Recognition and Awards for Our Commitment to Sustainability

  • R&DE Stanford Dining became only the third university dining program in the country to receive a 4 Star Green Restaurant Certification by the Green Restaurant Association for environmental accomplishments at its Florence Moore Dining Hall.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • R&DE Stanford Dining was one of the first university food service operations in the United States certified as a green business (by Santa Clara County).
  • R&DE Stanford Dining won the Acterra Business Environmental Award for Sustainability
  • Stanford received an “A” for Food and Recycling on the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 College Sustainability Report Card.
  • PG&E Award for Leadership in Applying Green Building Design 2006.
  • Sierra Club
  • Cool Schools: Annual Ranking of America’s Greenest, Third in Nation, R&DE Stanford Dining
  • AASHE STARS, 2012 Gold Rating, Dining Services, Stanford University
  • NACUFS Sustainability Award, 2012 Silver Award, Outreach and Education, Sustainable Food Program- Living Laboratory
  • United States Congress, 2007 Special Recognition Sustainability, R&DE Stanford Dining