By the numbers

Local, organic and sustainably produced food a priority with DFS

Over the last several years, Princeton’s Dining Services has made it a priority to purchase local, organic and sustainably produced food.

Café Vivian in the Frist Campus Center
Café Vivian in the Frist Campus Center, the first “green” eatery on campus, offers many healthy, sustainably produced food choices. (photo: Christopher Lilja)
  • Nearly 43 percent of the food that Dining Services purchases is produced locally, within 200 miles of the University. This includes produce, baked goods, cheese, milk, beef, pork, poultry and eggs. In 2008, the department purchased more than 40,000 pounds of local produce.
  • The University purchased more than 20,000 pounds of organic produce in 2008, including the spring salad mix offered at various salad bars. Other organic foods include yogurts sold at Frist Campus Center, organic cereals served in residential dining halls and fruit juices served at Chancellor Green.
  • In an average year, Dining Services purchases 8,600 pounds of grass-fed beef for foods such as chili and meat sauce and about 13,000 pounds of premade hamburger patties made from grass-fed beef.
  • Other purchasing decisions reflect how food is harvested and how animals are treated. In 2008, the University purchased 5,440 pounds of cage-free eggs and 67,990 pounds of sustainably caught or raised seafood.
  • Dining Services has also found an environmentally conscious way to get rid of food waste. More than 740 tons of food waste are given to a local pig farmer each year. In the future, food waste may be taken to a local plant for biodiesel production or organic fertilizer.
  • Café Vivian in the Frist Campus Center is an example of Dining Services’ attention to sustainability. When the café was renovated last summer, the redesign included shelving made of sunflower seed shells, glass tile made mostly of recycled glass and lighting fixtures made of 100 percent recycled aluminum.

Sources: Dining Services and the Princeton Environmental Institute