Food Sustainability at Cal Poly

Food Sustainability

Local Sourcing

A key strategy in providing sustainable food is buying local. It keeps money in the local economy, preserves family farms, reduces oil-dependent transportation costs, protects our local landscapes, and ensures fresh and healthy food stays available and affordable for all. Campus Dining is proud to support numerous local farms and artisans, including more than 100 local, organic and sustainable products throughout campus, including Cal Poly produced products. We also offer numerous USDA Certified Organic products in our campus markets.

Cage-free eggs

Campus Dining works with suppliers of cage-free eggs. This practice allows hens to walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests, improving the animal’s welfare, food safety and long-term sustainability.

rBGH-free yogurt and milk

Campus Dining purchases milk that comes from cows that have been certified to be free of the artificial growth hormone rBGH (also known as RBST). Buying milk and yogurt from manufacturers that ban artificial growth hormones supports both animal welfare and human health.

Sustainable Seafood

Campus Dining is passionate about sourcing sustainable seafood. It is a priority to offer fresh, high quality seafood that is safe and sustainable, while preserving the health of our oceans.That is why we choose seafood that is fished or farmed in ways that have less impact on the environment.

Eco-fair Trade Coffee

Campus Dining partners with suppliers who provide certified sustainable coffees. This practice ensures that fair trade and other eco-certified coffee is readily available on campus.

Imperfectly Delicious Produce

Imperfectly Delicious Produce (IDP) is perfectly fresh and nutritious. However, its appearance may not meet the stringent standards of most supermarkets. An example of IDP is broken mushrooms, oversized fingerling potatoes and off-standard size spinach leaves. Campus Dining incorporates IDP into dishes where the look of the produce is not as important as its flavor. This practice benefits farmers and the environment, keeping perfectly delicious produce from going to waste.

Lower Antibiotics in Poultry

With the growing public health concern in using non-therapeutic use of antibiotics, Campus Dining sources poultry from farmers who do not add antibiotics developed for humans to the food and water they give their chickens and turkeys. This practice directly aligns with the recommendations of the American Medical Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

How can you reduce your environmental impact?


Take it easy on meat, which requires more food, water, land, and energy than plants to produce


Read labels so you know where your food comes from.


Hit the farmers market and load up on local produce.


Resize your meals. You may discover that you don’t need as much food as you thought.