Green & Sustainable Dining
What you can do
Think about what you put on your tray. Take only as much as you will eat! Not sure about a dish? Ask for a sample. Feel free to tell the servers not only what you want, but how much, too. If you finish your first serving and are hungry for more, by all means come back for seconds (or thirds!).
Skip the tray! Going trayless encourages you to take less food and we end up with less waste. Help us save water and energy.
Less waste on your plate means less waste that ends up in the landfill. If everyone took only their perfect portion, it'd make a huge difference in our post-consumer footprint.
Look for and choose foods with the Go Blue/Eat Local logo. It means the food is made primarily from locally grown ingredients.
What we’re doing
- By planning our meals well in advance, we can purchase more fresh, natural, locally produced foods and have them delivered daily to our kitchens. More than 30 Michigan suppliers and farmers provide the University with fruits, vegetables, honey, and more.
- We’re always working to expand our search for more sources of locally produced foods.
- Most of our entrées (and all of our soups) are prepared from scratch, using fresh ingredients.
- As part of our green initiative, Residential Dining collects pre-consumer food waste in special bins. These are taken to the City of Ann Arbor’s composting site where the food waste is mixed with the community’s yard waste to create compost. This effort reduces the amount of organic material going into the waste water stream or landfill.
Waste Reduction Plan
- Cooking smart with your food dollars means trimming the waste in our dining halls. Considering the tons (literally) of food we serve each day, that’s a challenge, but here are four big steps in our waste reduction plan:
- Tracking. Yep, we keep historical data on everything we serve. How much you loved a dish last time (and the time before that and the time before that) gives us an accurate picture of how much to make this time around.
- Preparation. Many foods are made in batches and then baked as needed. So if you eat less than we expect, unused portions can be baked fresh the next day. Stir-fries are prepared “on-demand,” leaving ingredients available for other recipes.
- Do overs. True “leftovers” can sometimes be used as ingredients in other dishes. Stale breads are cubed for stuffing. Meatloaf is crumbled and stirred into spaghetti or chili. Cooked rice, pasta and other staples are added to the soups we make each day from scratch.
- Safety. We never, ever compromise on food quality or safety. So if we have to toss something out to keep our foods safe, it’s the right thing to do. Every time.
A great post-workout snack is an apple with peanut butter for carbohydrates and protein. Try crunchy or smooth!
Spring is a great time for fresh veggies and salads! Try replacing dressing high in saturated fats like ranch dressing with vinaigrettes.