"The culture of an academic institution is established by faculty leadership," said Wendell Brase, associate chancellor for sustainability at UCI. "I think that's where the legacy started, with Sherry Rowland and Mario Molina, and that's powerful."
Feeding over 36,000 students isn't an easy task. Still, UCI Dining Services is taking steps to make eating on campus more sustainable.
The dining halls are adding options with healthy plants at the center of the plate and a small quantity of animal protein, as well as 'Cool Food Meals' with low carbon and water footprints. Much of the produce comes from more than 15 farms around Southern California.
UCI also built an aeroponic garden on the patio of The Anteatery. Here, staff members are growing leafy greens and herbs served at the food hall. This method uses much less water – 90 percent less than traditional farming – and the plants grow two to three times faster, producing up to 10 times more food in the same space.