Environmental sustainability is a fundamental part of our mission, guiding how we operate. We strive to reduce our environmental impact through practices that enrich and support the natural environment.
Through our environmental sustainability platform, we bring innovative and efficient solutions to life. We are passionately focused on reducing the environmental impact within our operations. We continuously improve our own practices, while offering expertise and practical solutions.
Our Goal is to offer a variety of bold, inspiring dishes made from responsibly sourced ingredients. Each new creation gets us one step closer.
At Deacon Dining we strive to provide our guests with the food and nutrients that enable them to feed their body and maintain not only a healthy lifestyle but ultimately contribute to maintaining a healthy planet.
Eat With A Purpose
Plant Forward Dining supports both your health and the environment. Plant Forward eating may still contain meat, however, it is not the “star” of the plate. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or an omnivore, focus on minimally processed plant foods.
We strive to provide guests with an abundance of healthy and nourishing food. An ideal plate should have the following balance:
We purchase local, seasonal and responsibly raised, grown and sourced products whenever possible
We firmly believe responsible sourcing has a direct impact on our local and global economies, our health and wellness and the environment. With every purchase we engage suppliers and partners in an effort to source environmentally and socially responsible products.
We utilize InHarvest Grains, which is committed to sustainability and preservation of rare and artesan grains. The grains contain non-GMO ingredients, heirloom grains, and signature blends. InHarvest Grains can be found daily in the Deacon Dining hall on the salad bars and incorporated into many of our culinary dishes.
Our Chefs and Dining Committee work to develop dishes that include plant based proteins such as lentils, chickpeas, peas and rice. These provide protein and fiber, plus iron and other vitamins and minerals. They increase satiety, boost digestion and can provide essential amino acids for a complete protein enhancing taste and texture.
Hickory Nut Gap works with farmers to produce high quality, healthy, humanely raised meats, supporting our local food community. HNG animals are raised without antibiotics or added hormones. This model rebuilds soil and helps sequester carbon. All HNG meat is 3rd party certified to ensure all animals are raised with care, And the land is respected.
Brasstown Beef is certified “Pasture Centered” by GAP – a step 4 Rating from Global Animal Partnership. They purposefully breed for highly efficient genetics. This requires less feed per pound of grain, resulting in animals that have a smaller carbon footprint and produce less methane, thus reducing the global warming impact of the beef they produce.
Murray’s Chickens are fed a vegetable-based diet free of animal fats and by-products on small family farms. They are never administered antibiotics. Murray’s Chicken is certified humane, which verifies the humane manner in which the chickens are raised, transported and handled. Happier and healthy farm animals leads to a higher quality of meat for our guests.
Deacon Dining works closely with W.R. Vernon Produce to ensure we provide the freshest fruit and vegetables possible. Vernon works with local family farms, buying as close to home as possible. This helps support a more sustainable food system because true sustainability exceeds the methods used in food production and includes every step that brings food from farm to table.
Hydration Stations are strategically placed across campus to allow our guests the ability to refill water bottles as needed. These stations track how many plastic bottles we have saved by refilling resusable containers. Infused water stations are also available in our residence dining halls in addition to our Rainforest Alliance Teas.
Deacon Dining Services partners with Wake Forest University to recycle from all dining locations across campus. We are committed to minimizing our environmental footprint.
Reduce – Food Waste
We minimize our footprint through our waste reduction. We focus on reducing waste at the source by adhearing to standards for ordering, preparing, serving, and tracking food production. This results in decreasing the overall cost of waste both environmentally and financially. Food that is produced and not consumed and deemed safe surplus food, is donated to our Campus Kitchen for distribution. In 2018 Deacon Dining donated over 8,500 pounds to Campus Kitchen.
Reduce – By-products
Paper straws, plastic carry out bags, and lids are available only upon request. Our Catering Team utilizes only disposable tableware that is compostable to ensure zero landfill waste. In addition, they partner with the Office of Sustainability to collect all compostable items across campus.
Reusable Green To-Go boxes are available for a one-time charge of $5.00. This green box can be used in The Pit, Hilltop Market and the Magnolia Room to take your meals with you. You can return it for a fresh one or a chip that can be redeemed later for a new container. This reduces the amount of one-time use boxes such as Styrofoam and other plastic materials.
Deacon Dining helps to recycle by sending all pre-consumer waste from The Pit and all pre-consumer and post-consumer waste from North Dining Hall to Gallins Family Farm for composting. In addition, one hundred percent of our dining services fryer oil is recycled to be used in biodiesel fuels.