UCLA Dining Services has committed to buying only cage-free and Certified Humane eggs for all residential restaurants. This commitment was made in April 2010, largely a result of efforts from Bruins for Animals!. Dining Services purchases approximately 1.5 million Certified Humane eggs annually from Wilcox Farms—meeting sustainable foods criteria listed in the UC Sustainable Practices Policy, which require 20% of all food purchases to be sustainable by 2020.
UCLA Dining Services
UCLA Dining Services to Celebrate Purchase of 1.5 Million Cage-Free Eggs
In April 2010, UCLA Dining Services agreed to buy eggs that are produced cage-free and “Certified Humane” for all the residential restaurants in UCLA’s on-campus housing facilities. Wilcox Farms will supply the more than 1.5 million eggs consumed each year by students and other Dining Services guests. This move responds to student requests for food products that involve the more humane treatment of animals and supports the UC Policy on Sustainable Practices.
What “Certified Humane” Eggs Mean – To Chickens & to UCLA
The “Certified Humane – Raised & Handled” designation is awarded to egg producers who meet guidelines developed by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) – a national nonprofit organization that certifies the humane treatment of farm animals.
According to HFAC, “Certified Humane” for laying hens means that they are not only raised cage-free, but also must have ample space, shelter, and gentle handling to limit stress. Nesting boxes are required, and the hens must be fed a healthy diet of quality feed without added antibiotics or hormones.
Josh Balk, outreach director for the Humane Society of the United States’ Factory Farming Campaign, says: “We commend UCLA Dining Services’ switch to exclusively cage-free eggs, which improves animal welfare, sustainability, and food safety.”
It’s all part of a bigger initiative to make UCLA – and all the schools in the UC system – more environmentally-friendly. “From a sustainability standpoint, this is a great step in the right direction,” says Robert Gilbert, H&HS sustainability coordinator, UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services. “The University of California recently adopted a policy that requires campus food purchases to be 20% sustainable by 2020. Both cage-free and Humane Raised & Handled eggs meet the criteria.”
UCLA to Celebrate & Raise Awareness
An official roll-out to announce the change to students and raise awareness about sustainable food options took place at brunch on Sunday, May 16, 2010. Diners at three of UCLA’s residential restaurants – Covel, De Neve, and Hedrick – were greeted with fun decor, information on cage-free eggs, and a few surprises.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer cage-free, Certified Humane eggs to our students and other Dining guests,” says Daryl Ansel, food and beverage director, UCLA Dining Services. “It was a bit of a challenge to find a company that could provide the quantity and quality of eggs that meet our standards, but we did. With the volume of eggs we use each year, this is a significant way to incorporate sustainable practices into our operations and provide a product that many students have been asking for.”
One of those students is Lalena Gieser, secretary-elect of the campus organization Bruins for Animals! Says Gieser, “Though Bruins for Animals! clearly encourages veganism in terms of diet and lifestyle to minimize animal cruelty, we realize that it is not practical to expect all residents at UCLA to go vegan or vegetarian, and thus cage-free eggs are a huge step in the direction toward cruelty-free. It’s heartwarming to see how an institution like UCLA is heading in this direction.”
About UCLA Dining Services
UCLA Dining Services is a department of UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services. It operates four residential restaurants and four take-away eateries in the UCLA’s on-campus housing area. A staff of approximately 500 team members provides food service to more than 9,500 student-residents plus staff, faculty, and campus visitors.
For more information about UCLA Dining Services or this particular news item, please contact Christine Kubo Loh, Communications, UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services.