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Northwestern Dining WANTS YOU to eat local

Northwestern DiningNorthwestern Dining is one of the many sustainNU champions on campus, working hard to create healthy, sustainable, and local meal options at NU. Their efforts include, sourcing local fruits and vegetables, sponsoring sustainability events and programs, and reducing their waste stream by composting all food scraps and donating leftovers to Campus Kitchens.

This October, Northwestern Dining hosted several events highlighting local foods and waste reduction. The first was “Weigh the Waste” at Sargent and Allison dining halls, which was organized to make diners more conscious of their food waste. During lunch, diners were asked to dump their uneaten food and waste into containers. At the end of the hour-long event, each of the containers were weighed. More than 270 diners participated at Sargent, producing 71 total pounds of waste, or about 0.26 pounds per person. At Allison, 234 diners produced averaged 0.31 pounds of waste per person, for a total of 71.5 pounds of waste. The event will be held again and in all dining halls after NU Dining promotes waste-reduction techniques to its diners.

In honor of Food Day, Northwestern Dining also created an ‘Eat Drink Local’ campaign. The kickoff event was a trip to Borzynski’s Farm and Floral Market, one of NU Dining’s local produce suppliers. At the farm, students took a tractor ride through the fields, met the farmer, and had a meal with foods grown at Borzynski’s. A couple weeks later the farm trip was capstoned with a Farm-to-Fork meal at each of the dining halls. The main event was held at Sargent Dining Hall, where students who attended the trip were asked to share what they learned. NU Dining served vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls from Borzynski Farms in Wisconsin, Lentils and Swiss Chard from Windy City Harvest right in Chicago, and a Dijon Turkey Burger with Apple Chutney from Mick Klug Farms in MI.

Northwestern Dining also held a fresh market on the Norris East Lawn featuring local farm produce and a “create your own” caramel apple station. Northwestern Dining hopes that these events helped the NU community learn about the importance of eating local and reducing food waste. They are excited to continue planning and hosting similar events.