Sustainable Food

Fresh, whole, real food that’s good any way you look at it. That's what matters to us, too. We care where food comes from—and how it impacts the environment. By supporting organic and fair trade growers, buying local, and offering plenty of vegan and vegetarian choices, we’ve moved plants forward and are committed to serving sustainable food that benefits you and our planet.

Sustainable Practices in Action

Here are just a few of the ways Tufts Dining supports sustainability on campus:

  • We serve a variety of organic and sustainably sourced foods.
  • We use local seasonal produce and locally caught wild fish.
  • We purchase from dozens of local vendors.
  • Our bananas are Rainforest Alliance certified.
  • Our compostable napkins are made from unbleached and recycled fibers.
  • We compost food waste in all dining centers and cafés.
  • Certified fair trade organic coffee is available in all dining center locations.
  • We donate leftovers to a local food emergency agency.
  • All takeout food containers are made from recycled material or plant-based material, or they are fully recyclable.

Not to mention, we host annual dining events to educate students on our sustainability practices and about ways to dine more sustainably. Our Harvest Food Festival Week in the fall highlights local apples, local cheeses, and all of our dishes with local veggies at the peak of the New England harvest season. Our annual Sustainable Seafood Dinner features local and sustainable seafood prepared in many delicious ways. And our Waste Less Dinner in the spring intrigues both students and staff as we study how much less we could waste. Eating sustainably has never been so easy and accessible.

Think Global, Buy Local

Did you know that food travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to table? Tufts Dining understands the importance of buying local, which is why we purchase food from dozens of local vendors within a 250-mile radius.

Whenever we buy local, we reduce our carbon footprint, since local food doesn’t travel far. Buying local also supports our regional economy—plus, local produce is fresher, and fresh food contains more nutrients. What isn’t great about all that?

Here are a few of the foods we get locally:

Certified Sustainable

At Tufts, we support food that's good for you, the environment, and those who grow it. Third-party certifications—such as Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic Certified —help make sure our food is grown sustainably and that it meets certain standards for you, the planet, and growers.

Fair Trade

Fair Trade Certified products ensure that producers in developing countries work in safe conditions and receive a living wage. We serve fair trade or organic coffee in Hotung Café and the Tower Café, with fair trade coffee options in Carmichael and Dewick-MacPhie Dining Centers and all other dining locations.

Organic

USDA Organic Certified food is produced with only organic pesticides and fertilizers, is not genetically modified. Certified organic meat also doesn't contain antibiotics or hormones. At Carmichael and Dewick-MacPhie Dining Centers, we serve organic food whenever possible, including tofu, natural peanut butter, legumes, brown rice, bulgur, wheat berries, quinoa, granola, oats, whole-wheat couscous, and whole-wheat pasta. We also serve organic coffee and tea in several of our dining locations.

Sustainable Seafood

Tufts Dining supports the livelihood of local fishermen by purchasing locally caught wild fish, which we serve in many of our seafood dishes in the dining centers. We also purchase sustainable-farm-raised seafood, including tilapia, catfish, trout, clams, and mussels.

Less Meat, Big Impact

Eating less meat is a great way to help our environment. The global meat industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than automobiles. It contributes to rainforest destruction and water pollution, and it's a huge drain on our fresh water supply.

By consuming fewer animal products, you can do your part to help ensure a better future for our planet. That’s one reason why at Tufts Dining, we offer numerous vegetarian and vegan options in all of our dining facilities.

We also hold events—such as Veg-Out@Dewick-MacPhie —to encourage delicious plant-based dining. Contact us if you would like to learn more!