Skip to main content
The mission of Northwestern Dining is to educate students, engage the community, and enrich the Northwestern experience by offering one of the most unique and pioneering campus meal programs in the nation.

Sustainable Purchasing

With nearly 20,000 graduate and undergraduate students and over 8,000 faculty and staff we have put a significant importance on our sustainable purchasing efforts in order to assist all members of the Northwestern University family in reducing its carbon footprint. All of our milk comes from Muller Pinehurst Dairy of Rockford, IL. Some of our sustainable purchasing includes:

  • Our regional producer provider, Midwest Foods, is committed to sourcing produce whenever available from local farms such as:
    • Borzynski Farms - WI (see our blog for photos of our visit!)
    • Garwood Orchards - IN (see our blog for photos of our visit!)
    • Fitzgerald Family Farms - WI
    • Windy City Harvest - IL
    • Miedema Produce - MI
    • Parrfection Produce - WI
    • Scheeringa Farms - IL
    • Duda Farms - MI
  • We purhcase from the following businesses to support the local economy:
  • Frontera Fresca, our new premier eatery, is committed to exclusively using local food and produce from farmers within a 100-mile radius of the restaurant. Local sources include:
Sustainable Food Purchasing Criteria
  • Marine Stewardship Council Certified Seafood: Over the course of the last century, many of the world's fisheries have become nearly depleted due to harvesting at a rate faster than fish populations can reproduce. The Marine Stewardship Council program works with seafood suppliers, restaurants and retailers to set standards that makes global seafood markets more sustainable. 
  • Organic Food: USDA certified organic foods are foods that are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and dies and processed without solvents, irradiation, or genetic modification. Organic farming keeps pesticides and fertilizers from entering nearby water systems, thereby protecting human and environmental health.
  • Local Foods: Local foods are foods that are grown and produced within a 250 mile range of where they are consumed and thus support the local economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation of food. For Northwestern, local foods come from farms and production centers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 
  • Humane Certified: Humane certified foods are foods that protect animal rights through the just treatment of animals. Specifically, Northwestern Dining sources all eggs from cage-free farms, where hens are able to walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests, vital natural behaviors denied to hens confined in cages. 
  • Fair Trade: Fair Trade Certification is a certification by FairTrade USA, a non-profit organization. Fair Trade Certified foods are held to standards that aim to ensure equitable international trade and fair partnerships between producers and buyers while reducing the vulnerability of small farms and improving the producers' quality of life.
Northwestern University | Dining Services | 2122 Sheridan Road | Room J147 | Evanston, IL 60201 | tel. 847-491-2020 | Contact Us