Cultivating a Sustainable Food Culture at UNC Asheville
Sustainability and food go hand-in-hand at UNC Asheville, and UNCA Dining Services knows the impact institutional dining can have on the environment. They are making strides to improve that impact every day, and developed their own sustainability brand, FEEDS (Farm-Forward Eating and Environmentally-Driven Sustainability), to share everything dining is doing with the campus community. Some of the highlights of sustainable dining include:
Since 2015, Dining Services has partnered with Food Connection, a local nonprofit who recovers unused, leftover food and delivers it to community organizations that feed people who need it most. Any food that cannot be served back to the UNCA campus is packaged and picked up by Food Connection volunteers. During the school year, UNC Asheville donates on average 170 pounds a week.
Reusable Cup Program
Dining Services is a trying to reduce landfill waste one cup at a time. They proudly offer a 15¢ discount every time someone brings a reusable cup. In addition to the customer discount, Dining Services also donates 15¢ to Food Connection to fight hunger in our community. It pays to reuse!
Want to take food to go? Reduce one-time-use packaging by renting an eco-clamshell to use throughout the school year. The eco-clamshell is available in the dining hall (at the register) for a small fee. Associates in Brown Hall are happy to run your eco-clamshell through our industrial dishwasher whenever you’d like it clean. At the end of school year, return your clamshell and receive your deposit back!
You’ll find many locally-made products in UNC Asheville’s retail outlets and in the dining hall, like Poppy’s Popcorn, the Hop Ice Cream, Dynamite coffee, Dolci di Maria vegan and gluten-free desserts, No Evil Foods plant meats, Smiling Hara Tempeh and much more. You’ll also find local and regionally-sourced produce served in Brown Hall, designated with a callout card of a specific color.
Once a month, on Mondays, Brown Hall features an even larger assortment of vegetarian and vegan dishes to highlight complete meals can be made without meat on the plate. Select meat options are still available during this meal period. Dining Services also tables on Mindful Mondays to raise awareness about the resources it takes to raise animals for food, and how even skipping meat once a day, week or month can go a long way to reducing your carbon footprint. For more information or to get involved, contact email@example.com.
The grill in Highsmith Student Union offers a burger blended with local and humane certified Hickory Nut Gap beef and local mushrooms. Blending meat requires less animal product per burger, adds veggies to your meal and uses a high quality, local product.
Dining Services has a strong waste diversion program, with an 81% diversion rate that strives to reuse, donate, compost and recycle before sending to the landfill. In addition to back of house waste management, Brown Hall runs a campaign every semester to reduce food waste among diners. The goal is to raise awareness on how wasting food is a large contributor to global warming and wasted resources, and to get diners to start considering ways they can change behavior to waste less in the future. Please see Dining Services’ Waste Reduction resources.
Fair Trade Campus
In 2017 UNC Asheville became the first designated Fair Trade Campus in North Carolina. Dining Services offers fair trade certified products in every outlet and in the dining hall. There is a fair trade committee on campus – consisting of students, faculty and staff – who host multiple educational events every semester. To get involved or stay up to date, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Restaurant Certification
Brown Hall has proudly been certified by the Green Restaurant Association as a 3 star Green Restaurant® for its efforts in improving UNC Asheville’s ecological footprint. Operating in 47 U.S. states and Canada, GRA encourages restaurants to green their operations using transparent, science-based certiﬁcation standards. Brown Hall now joins Asheville restaurants like Cúrate, French Broad Chocolates, Green Sage Café, Corner Kitchen, and others as a certified Green Restaurant.
North Asheville Tailgate Market
Every Saturday, from April through November, the North Asheville Tailgate Market is hosted on university property, which allows on-campus students easy access to healthy and local food purchasing opportunities.
Rosetta’s is a local restaurant with their satellite location on UNC Asheville’s campus, offering healthy local, vegetarian and vegan options. This partnership is a great way to support the local economy and offer students a more varied and delicious dining experience.