A nationwide drought that began last summer continues to adversely affect the St. Louis community, including local food suppliers to Washington University’s Dining Services. The University, which sources approximately 20 percent of its food from local vendors, has contended with increasing food prices for the past year.
In a continued effort to make campus dining more sustainable, Dining Services and Bon Appetit released a pair of new to-go box options at the start of spring semester—a compostable, disposable box and a redesigned reusable box.
Washington University was recently ranked third for best college food among 52 universities reviewed by the Daily Meal. In the spring, the University topped the Daily Meal’s list of Top Universities for Food Lovers and has also previously been ranked highly by College Prowler and The Princeton Review.
Senior Andrew Dowd spent five consecutive summers in Nicaragua, travelling to coffee farming villages. He worked in coffee shops since he was sixteen years old. His new student-run café, Bloom Coffee, will replace the hot chocolate bar in Ursa’s Cafe this fall. Dowd presented his idea to start Bloom Coffee to the University in July.
Washington University’s Dining Services team spent the summer developing new programs, menu items and services in an effort to improve on-campus dining options for students. The changes are aimed at fostering community and providing opportunities for students to gather on campus with friends and peers using existing spaces.
Dining Services is looking to introduce fun dining options for students on campus in the future. These include several events coming up this semester. Dining Services will host a Dr. Seuss themed dinner in Bear’s Den on April 4. The event will feature culinary concoctions including green eggs and ham.
Bon Appétit, Washington University’s food service provider, has announced a new, comprehensive animal welfare policy to be implemented by 2015. The policy includes four core changes. All pork, currently 3 million pounds annually, must use higher-welfare group housing systems instead of gestation crate confinement systems.
Washington University is regularly recognized for its excellent and wide variety of food, but for once its been recognized for a specialty. College Prowler ranked Washington University’s kosher offerings the best of any school in the nation. The ranking was compiled through student surveys filled out on the college search engine’s website.
A new “WUSTL Dining” app will provide students on the go with a way to check menu and nutritional information for Washington University dining facilities from their iPhones. The app features “Menus” and “Nutrition” functions that pull real-time data from FoodPro, the service Dining Services uses for its online information.
In an attempt to provide students with fresh produce year-round, Dining Services has spearheaded a program called Guaranteed Cash, Guaranteed Crop, where Washington University pays nearby farmers upfront for their crops. Resident District Manager of Bon Apétit Nadeem Siddiqui is currently working with 25 farms within a 150-mile radius of St. Louis.