Sustainable Purchasing

Seafood Watch AppOverview

R&DE Stanford Dining, through the Sustainable Food Program, has developed a set of purchasing guidelines and preferences to establish a practical framework and an ongoing process to guide food purchasing decisions. These guidelines take into account the best interest of our environment, the social and economic systems on which our food depends and the health of those to whom we serve food. Our guidelines are informed by the most current science and research available and draw upon the input and involvement of many stakeholders within our campus community with the goal of improving the overall health, safety, security and sustainability of our food supply.

We prefer to purchase food that is:

  • Local: Food that is grown, raised or processed within 150 miles of campus.
  • Direct: Food that is purchased directly from independently-owned growers, producers and manufacturers.
  • Organic & Sustainable: USDA certified organic produce, processed items, meat, dairy, poultry and byproducts thereof, and Seafood Watch-approved seafood.
  • Humane: Meat, dairy, poultry and byproducts thereof that originate from livestock that were allowed to range freely and to express their natural instincts and behaviors for the entirety of their lives.
  • Fair: Food that is traded at economic, social and environmental parity.

Sustainable Producers

The fundamental pursuit of our Sustainable Food Program is to find answers to a small number of simple questions about the food we eat: where, how, and by whom was it grown, raised or processed, and how was it traded?

In our experience, the most satisfying answers to these questions come by way of the people who were directly involved in the production of our food, and they play a big part in our Sustainable Food Program.

In addition to the direct relationships we’ve built with the partners listed below, we purchase local produce through carefully selected local distributors.

Pie Ranch Pescadero, CA
R&DE Stanford Dining serves organic produce direct from Pie Ranch, a local educational farm, using a unique payment plan to guarantee sales and reduce financial risk to the farm.

Straus Family Creamery Marshall, CA
We serve organic skim, low-fat, and whole milk from Straus Family Creamery. Straus Family Creamery is an organic dairy producer located in Marshall, California, which is 84 miles north of Stanford. They were the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi River, and the first 100% certified organic creamery in the U.S. The cows spend their days in pasture and are never treated with hormones or antibiotics.

Seafood Watch  Monterey, CA
R&DE Stanford Dining is a Seafood Watch partner of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We promise to never offer anything from the red “Avoid” category, only serving items from the "Good" and "Best" categories. We build awareness about ocean-friendly seafood choices by inviting guest speakers, guest chefs and other industry experts to student events. 

Taku River Reds Fishery Juneau, AK
R&DE Stanford Dining serves sustainably-caught, wild Alaskan salmon purchased directly from Taku River Reds Fishery.  Taku River Reds Fishery is a family-owned, direct-to-market company based in Juneau, Alaska. We have purchased directly from the Hardcastle family, owners of Taku River Reds, since 2008. This partnership, which was facilitated by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), has grown from an initial annual purchase of 4,000 pounds of salmon to 27,250 pounds in 2014. Heather & Kirk Hardcastle of Taku River Reds Fishery are committed to sustainable fisheries management and work closely with our Sustainable Food Program to educate the Stanford community, including hosting cooking classes in our Farm to Fork Cooking Series and speaking during our Sustainable Seafood Week event.

Wilcox Family Farms Roy, WA
Wilcox Family Farms is a 100-year-old family farm in the foothills of Mt. Ranier. Founded in 1909 by Judson and Elizabeth Wilcox, Wilcox Family Farms is now run by the family's fourth generation. R&DE Stanford Dining buys whole and liquid cage free eggs from Wilcox.

Fair Trade USA Coffee and Tea
R&DE Stanford Dining serves Fair Trade coffee from Starbucks and Fair Trade, organic, and/or Rainforest Alliance tea from Numi Tea, Choice Teas, and Lipton. 

The coffee we serve is certified by Fair Trade USA, who ensures that farmers and workers are given fair prices and credit, fair labor conditions, have transparent and democratic organizations, and are allowed to deal directly with purchasers. Fair Trade principles ensure that environmentally sustainable farming practices are used, which also protects the farmers' health. Fair Trade premiums are used to invest in community development projects, including schools, scholarships, training, and organic certification.

Earthbound Farm San Juan Bautista, CA
Earthbound Farms was started in 1984 by Drew and Myra Goodman. They specialize in lettuce mixes and supply R&DE Stanford Dining with organic & local spring mix and romaine. Earthbound Farms is also a leader in food safety, ensuring that the salad greens we serve are not only delicious, but safe.

Jacobs Farm Pescadero, CA
Jacobs Farm is an organic farm located in Pescadero, which is 30 miles west of Stanford near the Pacific Ocean. Jacobs Farm specializes in organic herbs and edible flowers, and they grow over 60 varieties of herbs and flowers. We use Jacobs Farm organic herbs, including basil, Thai basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme.

Niman Ranch Nationwide
Niman Ranch provides R&DE Stanford Dining with humanely-raised, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free pork sourced from their network of sustainable U.S. family farmers and ranchers.

Wildwood Fullerton, CA
Wildwood began as a small, vegetarian deli in San Francisco in 1978. Today, they provide R&DE Stanford Dining with organic, GMO-free tofu.

Grass-fed Beef from Meat & Livestock Australia
R&DE Stanford Dining has partnered with Meat & Livestock Australia to serve high-quality, grass-fed beef. The cattle are humanely raised on pasture, are never given antibiotics or hormones, and are halal certified. Grass-fed beef is naturally leaner, with less saturated fat than beef from grain-fed cows.