Carolina Food Co. has taken important steps to advance our sourcing practices in a responsible and ethical way. To drive measureable change, we focus on the following areas:
Local Purchasing: Local food isn’t just better on your plate, it’s better for the community. Buying local food supports local farmers and keeps their businesses thriving. We’ve partnered with Senn Bros. Produce and GrowFood Carolina to provide us with the freshest local fruits and vegetables. We strive to purchase products from local, independently-owned, minority-owned, or women-owned businesses whenever possible. Right now, 20% of the produce we serve in our dining halls is locally sourced (within 250 miles).
Humanely-Raised: We have high standards for the food we serve. That’s why we have high standards for the ingredients we buy. We purchase cage-free eggs, humanely-raised chicken and beef, and seafood approved by the Monterrey Bay Seafood Watch.
Carolina Food Co. models its waste reduction strategy after The Food Recovery Hierarchy developed by the EPA.
Recycling is a high priority for Gamecocks. We do our part by recycling cardboard, paper, and plastic in our locations
Reusable To-go Containers
Carolina Food Co. offers reusable to-go containers in all-you-care-to-eat dining halls for $5. Guests can take meals to-go and exchange dirty containers for clean ones the next time they come back. This reduces waste that is thrown away on campus.
Reducing Food Waste
Carolina Food Co. plans meals for a specific number of guests, which keeps us from preparing too much food. In January of 2018, we launched a computer program called LeanPath, which records food waste trends. LeanPath helped us reduce food waste by 40% in our busiest kitchens.
When there is excess food prepared, Carolina Food Co. works with the Food Recovery Network to donate safe food to hunger relief agencies like Oliver Gospel Mission. In the past year, we’ve donated over 40,000 pounds of food to people in need. E-mail us to volunteer!
Composting is nature’s way of recycling waste into nutrient rich soil. Carolina Food Co. works with Atlas Organics to remove compostable material from kitchens and special events. From leftover food to cups and straws, we’ve diverted 231 tons of waste away from landfills. The compost enriches the land for gardens and farms throughout the Southeast.
Green Energy Biofuels collects waste oil from our kitchens for conversion into biodiesel. Green Energy Biofuels also sponsors student projects and donates to Sustainable Carolina to increase sustainable initiatives here on campus.