To us, sustainable food means…
- Ingredients that are 3rd party certified as sustainably produced
- Ingredients that are sourced from local and community based vendors
In the 2018-2019 academic year, Elon Dining sourced over 30% verified sustainable food.
Our team is passionate about incorporating local, seasonal ingredients into menus as much as possible. Elon Dining has implemented a preferential purchasing system that identifies food grown or produced within 150 miles, and its sustainable attributes. Local produce is harvested closest to its peak for a fresher, more flavorful nutrient-filled result. Not only do local foods tend to be fresher, local purchasing reduces transportation carbon emissions and invests money into community based operations. Look for locally grown signage to taste the best flavors our area has to offer, celebrate the season selections, and support the local efforts of our community!
Plant based foods (vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc) are proven to have a lower environmental impact than resource intensive animal products. With continuous recipe development for vibrant and unique plant based options, Elon Dining provides diverse, complete-protein vegan dining options at all meals. McEwen Dining Hall, Clohan Hall, and a number of our retail locations have menus dedicated to plant based options.
Sustainable Animal Products
Our livestock farmers and ranchers share our high standards for humane animal treatment and environmental sustainability. We source beef, pork, chicken, and turkey from North Carolina farms using regenerative agriculture principles, and certified animal welfare practices. All meats are free of antibiotics, growth hormones, and are fed vegetarian diets.
We serve beef certified as Global Animal Partnership Step 4, meaning cattle are on open pasture at all times. This allows natural grazing, enrichment, and eliminates pollution caused by cattle feedlots. By breeding for growth efficient genetics, cattle require less feed, resulting in a smaller greenhouse gas footprint.
We serve pork certified as Global Animal Partnership Step 1, meaning pigs are free to roam and interact with each other, and free of gestation crates.
We serve chicken and turkey that are Certified Humane, which ensures poultry are hatched, raised, transported, and processed following animal welfare standards. Our chicken and turkey are raised naturally with access to enriched, uncrowded indoor/outdoor nesting, and self-regulated eating and drinking schedules.
We serve cage free eggs from hens in enriched colony housing, which allows natural behaviors like nesting, perching, scratching, and socializing.
Elon Dining uses Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendations to source seafood that is wild caught or farmed using responsible methods. Using continuously updated standards specific to North Carolina, we source only Best Choice or Good Alternative seafood.
Fair Trade coffee is served in all residential, retail, and catering dining operations. Elon Dining Services recognizes the need for social and environmental responsibility towards farm workers, our customers, and our communities. Benefits of these programs for coffee farmers mean community development, health, education, and environmental stewardship.