University Dining Services


   From farm to fork, we're developing menus that include food raised, harvested and produced in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. We purchase from a variety of local farmers and producers including University of Minnesota Meat Lab, Cheese Lab and the University’s Student Cornercopia Farm.

Local Foods

UDS has an on-going partnership with Midwest Food Alliance, an organization providing certification of products grown with environmentally friendly and socially responsible agricultural practices. In 2012, UDS purchased 176,479 pounds of local produce, 26,060 pounds of local meat, and 1,224,594 pounds of local dairy products.

Food Miles Bullseye image

(Please click the above image for a printable PDF file.)

Andrew Boss Meat & Dairy Lab

In addition to local farmers and suppliers, UDS purchases cheese and meat from the University of Minnesota Andrew Boss Meat and Dairy Lab Salesroom. The Andrew Boss meat and dairy products are produced in a Minnesota-state certified dairy plant and meat lab by students, staff and faculty. In 2012, UDS purchased over $5,000 in meat and cheese, which were served at catering events, Bistro West Restaurant and at TCF Bank Stadium premium services.

Sustainable Coffee

UDS offers fair trade, organic and rainforest alliance coffees and espresso drinks in restaurants and coffee shops on campus. These coffees and teas are served at our Starbucks, Java City, Dunn Bros., and Caribou Coffee locations.

What is Fair Trade Coffee?
Fair trade coffee is purchased directly from the growers for a higher price than standard coffee.The purpose of fair trade is to promote healthier working conditions and greater economic incentive for producers.

What is Rainforest Alliance Coffee?
The Rainforest Alliance is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers into sustainable practices.

What is Organic Coffee?
Coffee that has been grown according to organic farming standards and techniques, without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

What is CityKid Java Coffe?
CityKid Java coffee pays more than fair trade prices for the coffee so that families in coffee growing communities benefit as well as kids in our community. Preserving the integrity of coffee means more than just bringing you the best flavor experience; it means having respectful relations with farmers and their communities. Green beans are roasted and cupped upon arrival to ensure the consistency and quality of every batch. Whenever possible, CityKid purchases beans that are grown in the shade and processed without chemicals.

In 2012, University Dining Services purchased 66,642 pounds of Fair Trade coffee, 4,626 pounds of sustainable CityKid Java coffee, 14,814 pounds of Rainforest Alliance coffee, and 308 pounds of Fair Trade tea.

Cage Free Eggs

UDS serves cage free eggs in residential dining locations. Cage free eggs are produced from un-caged hens, raised in barns and other open environments. In 2012, University Dining Services purchased 89,004 pounds of cage free eggs.

Sustainable Seafood

University Dining Services purchases sustainable seafood through Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program. Sustainable seafood comes from fish and shellfish that are not in danger from overfishing and are not caught or farmed in ways that damage the environment. This program helps preserve our oceans and fisheries for future generations. On average, we purchase 530 pounds of sustainable seafood per year. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® web site ( for more information about what types of fish are recommended.


What is a Locavore?

Locavores (sometimes called 'localvores') are people who eat food grown or produced locally or within a certain radius of their homes or campuses. That can mean they get food directly from local farmers, fishermen or producers. Or it can even mean they grow, hunt or catch their own food.