Fall 2019 Sustainable Food Symposium

The purpose of the sustainable food champion group is to promote active student participation and academic collaboration across campus in pursuit of a more sustainable food system at the University of Maryland.
At the Sustainable Food Symposium on December 6, seven student groups shared some of their ongoing work from Fall Semester 2019. They gave short presentations to faculty and staff collaborators, other students, and members of the Dining Services administrative team.

Black Beans

In an effort to combat food waste Dana collaborated with Dining Services to use almost 500 lbs. of black beans grown for research. Black beans because they are a more popular and frequently consumed legume.

Global Stewards: Cool Food Pledge:

The Cool Food Pledge aims to decrease food related emissions by 25%. The Global Stewards wrote a draft NIH proposed plans to measure health outcomes – both long term and short term.

Understanding Food Choices

Recognized the 18-to-26 year-old population as critical to a lifetime of healthy eating, and as an understudied group. Created a plan to study this group’s decision making processes under both schema theory and nudge theory.

Sustainable Smoothies:

Sustainable smoothies works to to reduce food waste by using “seconds.” Originally an offshoot of the MD Food Co-Op, and is now experimenting with becoming part of the MD Farmer’s Market.

Ocean Friendly Campus Evaluation

Implemented to encourage the reduction of plastic in cafes and convenience shops. This project sought to evaluate the results of the free reusable bag program funded by a sustainability grant. About one third of eligible students have collected their bags. The group made recommendations to expand the reach of the program.

Cool Food Pledge Implementation Plan

This group focused their project to implement marketing strategies to rate food served in the dining halls with respect to environmental impact.

Menus of Change University Research Collaborative fellowship

Offered students progressively sustainable meals over a nine-week period and collected feedback on globally inspired healthy cuisine. The nine meals were a hit, with the majority of comments being positive and students were eager to see more menu items like these!

The sustainable food champion group will meet twice per semester: At the start of each term to brainstorm around the research and projects presented, Green Dining initiatives, and
academic opportunities for students related to sustainable food and at the end of each term to hear the outcomes of student projects and initiatives.