Sustainable Food Systems at UCLA
Sustainable Food Systems means accounting for the full cycle of the food we eat. Considering how it is grown, harvested, packaged, transported, and then disposed of, all surrounding the essential question of: is what we're eating good for our bodies and the planet?
- Top Ways to Have a Smaller FOODprint
- Calculate your Carbon FOODprint
- Get ACTIVE
- Student Initiatives
- Local Farmer Markets
- CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Program
- Food Waste
- Food Choices
This website is an online resourse for students interested in creating a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle while attending UCLA, of which food is more important than nearly anything else. You can improve your health while lowering your impact on the environment with conscious choices everyday. Specifically looking at food choices and the food cycle, the Sustainable Food System page situated in the UCLA Dining website can help students learn about and engage in activities that are more nourishing for the body and planet. Throughout this site you can learn about activities and choices that you personally can make, and avenues for continued engagment. Enjoy!
Top Ways to Have a Smaller FOODprint
These tips result in impact reduction and will support a sustainable planet and a better lifestyle, as these changes improve your health and in many cases will save you money too.
#1. Be mindful of your meat and dairy consumption and try to limit it.
- More than anything else, eating less meat & dairy will significantly reduce your environmental impact.
- Try making at least one meal a day vegetarian. Eat beans, vegetables, fruits, & grains for a completely delicious & nutritious meal.
#2. Don’t waste food. Wasting food equals wasted water, energy, and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.
- In the Dining Halls: take only what you'll really eat, then go back for seconds. Ask for samples before taking something. Customize your order to how much you want.
- Buy & cook only what you'll really eat. If your kitchen cupboard is well stocked, look through it and use up your ingredients before buying more groceries
#3. Choose organic products whenever possible
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes: One-time, Weekly, or Monthly subscription of Certified Organic Produce delivered
#4. Choose locally grown products whenever possible. Available local foods are in season, meaning at their freshest and tastiest.
- Grocery stores: All produce and food products are labeled with their origin; opt for items grown and produced in California, or at least from the US, Mexico & Canada.
- Farmers Markets: you're certain to find local produce & foods at the farmers market, where you can get to know who grew your food, not to mention get the best first-hand knowledge on what's freshest
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes: the CSA affiliation UCLA has is with the South Central Farmers Cooperative and all produce comes from Bakersfield, about 100
#5. Read Labels – look for “Fair Trade Certified,” “Biodynamically grown,” “Rainforest Alliance” and others that indicate the food was produced meeting ethical and ecological standards
Calculate your Carbon FOODprint
Food production and transportation contribute substantially to greenhouse gas emissions. Get a great visual of how different food options emit more and less than others.
GET INFORMED, EMPOWERED & ACTIVE
E3-Ecology, Economy, Equity! ~ Student Sustainability Organization at UCLA
- ESLP - Education for Sustainable Living Program: be a leader or member of an Action Research Team - such as the Sustainable Food Systems Team! Get academic credit, work with faculty and staff, make real change happen. Info at www.eslp-la.com
Interested in Gardening? Check out UCLA's Community Garden & Gardening classes with Los Angeles based master gardens.
Bruins for Animals ~ Animal Rights Student Organization at UCLA
Sustainable Resource Center at UCLA ~ Books, DVDs, & Camping gear for Free Rental, Funding & more
Food related coursework at UCLA (to name a few)
- Anthropology: Anthropology of Food (Anthro 157) - This course will look at the production, consumption, and distribution of food, with a particular emphasis on the culture of food. Food is a wonderful means to look at a range of topics: ecological history, class, poverty, hunger, ethnicity, nationalism, capitalism, gender, race, and sexuality. Food is at once the most obvious and least explored window into the shaping of identities, desires, and needs in the contemporary world.
- Geography: World Vegetation (Geog 108) - Characteristics, distribution, environmental and cultural relationships of world's principal vegetation patterns.
- Geography: Food and the Environment (Geog 132) - Historical and thematic orientation to agriculture revolutions and their role in environmental and cultural transformations in human history.
Local Farmers' Markets
- Closest to UCLA: Broxton Avenue every Wednesday, 3pm - 8pm (since this is just minutes from campus & situated between grocery stores, you can easily make it your source for all fruits & veggies!)
- There are farmers' markets in LA every day of the week! Map & guide of Los Angeles farmers' markets; choose by location or day of the week: http://projects.latimes.com/farmers-markets/
CSA Boxes - Community Supported Agriculture Program
- You get a box of fresh, diverse produce every week. Delivered. For a very low cost. CSA creates a direct bridge between local farmers and consumers. Each week LA farmers deliver their freshest food to pre- determined spots in the city – UCLA now has 3 local pick-up spots!
- Details and to order a box: http://scfcoop.southcentralfarmers.com/
- Location details on Facebook: Weyburn CSA
- Location details on Facebook: UAS CSA
Seasonal Food Charts for Southern California
When are apples in season in California? June through December. But you wouldn't know it from the produce offerings in typical grocery stores. Wondering what's in season - meaning at it's freshest and most local? See the guide below!
How to compost
How to maintain a personal vegetable garden / herb garden
The Bigger Movement: Real Food Challenge
LOVE Food - Hate Waste!
Students submitted pictures of their dishes at the end of meals. This initiative brought more consciousness to choosing food at meal time and how much is let go to waste.
Published: Monday, October 18, 2010