R&DE Expands Commitment to Sustainable Foods with New Partnerships
Each year, Residential & Dining Enterprises (R&DE) Stanford Dining seeks to enhance its sustainable food options and lead the way in providing healthy, eco-friendly food choices to the campus community. In September, Stanford Dining added new sustainable food items to its purchasing commitments for the duration of the 2014-15 academic year. Local, organic, humane, and fair food options made up 47% of its total food purchases, up from 40% the year before. Key commitments include the following:
- Organic produce from Pie Ranch: Pie Ranch is an organic farm located due west of Stanford in Pescadero. R&DE Stanford Dining set up an innovative contract to prepay for organic kale, beets, and other produce, guaranteeing the farm a certain amount of sales. The system is similar to community-supported agriculture.
- Antibiotic-free chicken from Petaluma Poultry: Petaluma Poultry, located 70 miles north of Stanford, raises chickens humanely and thus does not need to use antibiotics to prevent disease or promote growth in the flock. Removing antibiotics from the food system is vital in reducing the prevalence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and protecting public health. R&DE now buys all of its chicken except for breasts from Petaluma Poultry.
- Grass-fed beef from Australia: All of R&DE Stanford Dining’s beef is now grass fed on pastures in Australia. The animals are treated humanely, and the greenhouse gas impact of transporting the meat from Australia by boat is minimal. Because beef production uses about 1,800 gallons of water per pound, switching to Australian providers has saved 50 million gallons of water a year in drought-ridden California.