Ole Miss Dining offers climate-friendly menu options

Margherita pizza is one of Aramark’s Cool Foods dishes found at Ole Miss Dining restaurants. The Cool Foods designation signifies that an item meets low carbon footprint standards as measured by the World Resources Institute. Photo submitted

OXFORD, Mississippi — University of Mississippi students and other members of the campus community have many opportunities to choose climate-friendly foods through the Cool Food Meals program launched this semester by Ole Miss Dining.

This program supports the university’s ongoing commitment to the environment and sustainability. Ole Miss Dining is operated under contract with Aramark Corp.

The Cool Food Meals badge, developed by the World Resources Institute, is featured on Aramark menus as part of a pilot project at 10 universities during the spring semester.

The Cool Food Meals badge identifies dishes with a low carbon footprint and will appear on over 350 menu items, including Kung Pao Cauliflower, Green Goddess Bowl, Southwestern Cereal Bowl, roasted corn and potatoes and the spiced egg toast with avocado.

“When asked if Ole Miss would like to join a pilot group for Cool Foods, I immediately responded, ‘Yes, sign us up,'” said Kathy Tidwell, Contract Services Manager and University Licensing Manager. “This gives us a chance to support our campus goal toward sustainability, sample new recipes, educate our students, and provide a better selection for our consumers who want to participate in making an impact on climate initiatives.”

This plate is an example of a meal made up of Cool Foods menu items that can be found at Ole Miss Dining restaurants on campus. Mediterranean stir-fry with orzo, cucumber caper relish and roast chicken are among more than 350 items on the Ole Miss Dining menu that meet low carbon footprint standards as measured by the World Resources Institute. Photo submitted

The World Resources Institute measured the carbon footprint of hundreds of Aramark recipes to identify items that meet Cool Food Meals criteria, based on farm-to-fork ingredients and the land used to produce the meal.

If a dish’s carbon footprint falls below an established threshold per meal and meets a nutritional standard, it is approved as a fresh meal.

“We are thrilled to participate in the Cool Foods initiative and further strengthen our commitment to sustainability on campus,” said Chip Burr, District Manager for Ole Miss Dining.

“Information is a powerful tool. Whenever we can provide our students and faculty with the ability to make conscious decisions about their diet, it is transformative. »

Fresh meals can be found on campus at the Rebel Market and Residential College Market.

Ole Miss Dining aims to support the university’s Office of Sustainability in positive environmental change by educating, connecting and empowering members of the campus community, Burr said.

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