Ole Miss Dining offers climate-friendly menu options

Published 11:23 am Wednesday, February 9, 2022

University of Mississippi students and others in the campus community have lots of 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 through a contract with Aramark Corp.

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

The Cool Food Meals badge identifies dishes with a lower carbon footprint and will appear on more than 350 menu items, including Kung Pao Cauliflower, Green Goddess Bowl, Southwest Grain Bowl, Roasted Corn and Potato Soup, and Spicy Avocado Egg Toast.

“When asked if Ole Miss would like to join a pilot group for Cool Foods, I immediately said, ‘Yes, sign us up,'” said Kathy Tidwell, manager of contractual services and director of university licensing. “This gives us a chance to support our campus goal toward sustainability, taste new recipes, educate our students and offer better selection to our consumers that want to participate in making an impact in climate initiatives.”

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

If a dish’s carbon footprint falls below an established per-meal threshold and meets a nutrition standard, it is approved as a Cool Food Meal.

“We are excited to participate in the Cool Foods initiative and further solidify our commitment to on-campus sustainability,” said Chip Burr, district manager for Ole Miss Dining.

“Information is a powerful tool. Anytime we can provide our students and faculty with the ability to make conscious decisions about their food is transformational.”

Cool Food Meals can be found on campus at Rebel Market and the Marketplace at the Residential Colleges.

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