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Food Systems

Objectives: Move campus to a food system that provides nutritious and healthy foods that are produced, delivered, prepared, and post processed in socially just and environmentally sound ways. Become a “Real Food” campus to achieve or exceed the goal of 20% real food by 2020, and will strive to do its part in helping UWO become a zero organic waste campus also by 2020.


  • Food Production
    • Initiate a campus gardens program to grow herbs and other cost effective foods for campus dining facilities. Herbs are often a good choice because many are expensive to procure through venders due to short shelf lives and are easy to grow. Examples include basil, cilantro, oregano, and parsley. Other foods may include garlic, greens, late-season crops and crops with long shelf lives like squash.
    • Greenhouse to produce food for campus
    • Consider rooftop gardens for the dual purpose of managing stormwater and growing edible plants
    • Involve a variety of student organizations, classes, and others who are interested to make it a campus-wide initiative
    • Consider planting and landscaping using Permaculture techniques on campus that stack functions by creating food forests (trees, shrubs, herbs, and other perennial edible/medicinal plants) and serve to educate and feed students in the process


(CC Image of underground/earth berm greenhouse that offers geothermal advantages in cold climates, notfrancois via Flickr)

  • Food Supply
    • Engage in farmer’s markets off and possibly on campus that promote locally-grown foods
    • Identify and secure cage-free liquid eggs to compliment the cage-free whole eggs that we now purchase
    • Source food as local, organic, and Fair Trade as possible
    • Increase local, vegan, organic, and Fair Trade options
    • Source products (e.g., cans and plastic containers) that are free of bisphenol-A and other known endocrine disruptors as possible. Prioritize BPA-free cans
    • Evaluate source of palm oils and soy products to avoid those associated with tropical deforestation
    • Evaluate sources of shrimp to avoid products associated with mangrove destruction in the tropics
    • Healthy foods only to be served with a focus on low/healthy fat, non-processed, vegan, organic, as well as sustainably sourced products
    • Source pork products from pork raised free of gestational crates
    • Explore the value of prioritizing/requesting products containing cellophane instead of petroleum based plastics
  • Food Operations
    • Restart “Feed the Beast” to encourage the diversion of all organic wastes from dining and facilities to the biodigester. Initiate the effort with a campaign to divert all pizza boxes from res halls to the digesterBiodigester_Food
    • Expand the use of reusable and biodegradable to-go containers and eating utensils

(Food and other organic waste inside the UW Oshkosh anaerobic biodigester waiting to be put inside one of four containment bins that is devoid of air, where the decomposition by bacteria and microbes will create usable methane gas over the course of 28 days, resulting in energy and valuable compost)

    • When reusable options don’t work, Dining Services should try to use biodegradable convenience products, such as napkins, eating utensils, beverage containers, etc.
    • Increase energy conservation: lighting, equipment, HVAC, condense operations where possible
    • Recycle or reuse all waste from dining services: biodigester for compostable waste, recycle all cardboard, paper, plastic, metal, glass, recycle all equipment appropriately or re-use
    • Biodiesel production or other on-campus alternative of used fryer oil, use biodiesel in campus vehicles and equipment
    • Green certified chemicals for cleaning, increase from 10% annual purchase
    • Separate production/storage area in Board Dining to address allergy issues such as a gluten free zone, and should address as many allergies as possible


(UW Oshkosh's anaerobic biodigester located next to campus facilities on the southwest side of the river)

  • Education/Collaboration
    • Develop a “local food” day in Board Dining with educational materials on the value of local food procurement
    • Expand dining program to include more vegetarian options and fewer meat options throughout the week and promote the values of meatless dining.
    • Use the “Fair Trade Fridays” program to educate the community on the merits of Fair Trade products
    • Work with food service provider to increase and improve sustainable dining programs
    • Create a forum/event for faculty, students, area farmers, food suppliers, and community members to discuss sustainability in the context of food and build partnerships
    • With the Real Food Challenge in mind, practice transparency and provide students with more information so they know where their food is coming from, what is in it, how it is grown/raised, the value of Fair Trade and other certified food products, and the quality of the nutrients, which may include: posters/signs, food labels, pamphlets, videos, and messages through electronic social media
    • Encourage stakeholder input through suggestions boxes and emails to and
by Spanbauer, Bradley R last modified Apr 17, 2014 03:07 PM

Teaching Resources CTA

Campus Sustainability Plan




Fair Trade