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Projects Updates for Topic: food

  1. Whats new?

    Last year was spent trying to optimize the use of freshwater shrimp in the system.  After a less the satisfactory yield we are reintroducing Tilapia into the aquaponics system in the Turner Hall greenhouses.  The produce side of the system provides fresh baby greens and serves as a propagation station for the indoor herb garden. 
    To date there are 149 customers enrolled in the reusable to-go program.  Those customers have diverted waste from the landfill a total of 2847 times by ordering their take-out using our Chews to Reuse program. 
    We recently installed a herb washing station in the kitchen and hope to expand the our herb production to offer retail packaged herbs.  We currently grow 80-90% of our herbs hyper-locally using the LED lighting just outside our kitchen.
  2. background information from Housing

    Associated Project(s): 

    Housing provided the following information: "The cost is generally considered to be manageable but not neutral- the Family Housing Council contributes renter fees towards the cost of water usage but they do not pay the cost of plowing, clean-up, or general maintenance. That is absorbed into the yearly work of maintaining the land in that area. In regards to education, we (Family and Graduate Housing and Housing Facilities) built a nice shed/work space that allows for gardening sessions tips and discussions to happen. A majority of our gardeners are International and many of them have gardened in extreme weather and land situations that are far more challenging than the rich soil here in Central Illinois.  So oftentimes we allow our International residents to share how they have developed irrigation systems or they discuss how to use various material to create trellis like structures. We have through a collaborative in housing worked with Housing Dining to allow gardeners access to coffee grinds that can be mixed into the soil. In regards to liability, this is a garden at your own risk program. So far we have assisted residents who lost everything in some of our flooding incidents in the past with new seeds or tools but not much in the way of accepting liability for flooding, stealing, or damaging events."

  3. UIUC recognized for use of Local Foods

    Associated Project(s): 

    "The University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign spends 25 percent of its yearly food budget on locally grown or processed food items. Campus dining services also exclusively serve fair trade coffee and almost all seafood is sustainably harvested. The university is also very committed to reducing waste and has enacted efforts to recycle cooking oil for biodiesel production and currently a quarter of the meals served on-campus are trayless."

  4. Announcing registration for Congress

    Registration open for major conference on campus

    As water and land for agriculture decrease and our climate changes, how do we feed the estimated 9 billion people who will populate the Earth by 2050? From Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment will gather 22 leading world scholars on campus to explore the issues. Register today for iSEE Congress 2014 — "Feeding 9 Billion: A Path to Sustainable Agriculture."

    Anthony D Mancuso • Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

  5. Archived web info - CSE Housing & Dining

    Housing & Dining

    The Dining Services Division of University Housing has made great strides in sustainable practices.  They purchase local foods, have implemented trayless dining, and donate 100% of its waste vegetable oil to the biodiesel project. In addition, they have recently been recognized for sustainable cleaning practices. Their newest facility, the Student Dining and Residential Programs building, is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification.

  6. Archived web info - CSE Food Research


    The University of Illinois has a distinguished history of research related to food.  The links below will introduce you to the breadth of our food research.  Whether you are interested in food production or distribution, safety or nutrition, Illinois is working to solve the toughest problems.  In addition, we have included some links for sources of local foods and growing your own food.

    A few of the programs that you might be interested in are the Illinois MarketMaker, and the University of Illinois Student Farm.

    Want to find sources of local food? Try the Champaign Farmers Market, the Common Ground Food Co-op, and the Urbana Farmers Market. Or maybe you want to try your green thumb at growing your own food? If so,University of Illinois Extension has lots of resources to help get you started.


    Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition
    Agroecology & Sustainable Agriculture Program ASAP
    Department of Agriculture & Consumer Economics
    Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering
    Department of Animal Sciences
    Department of Crop Sciences 
    Department of Human and Community Development
    Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
    Crop Sciences Research and Education 
    Illinois SARE 
    Illinois SARE Calendar

  7. RSO interested in reducing their food waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    From: Johnston, Morgan B
    Sent: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:18 AM
    To: Bressler, Jonathan Louis; Pickert, Diane A
    Cc: Jones, Maria
    Subject: RE: Food Reduction Recommendations

    Hi Diane and Jonathan,

    Were you able to meet and find a solution for the food waste from Tikkun Chambana?  The Student Sustainability Committee has a new working group chair for Food and Waste.  Her name is Maria Jones, and she is copied here.



    From: Aubrey, Dawn
    Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 1:35 PM
    To: Johnston, Morgan B; Bressler, Jonathan Louis
    Cc: Webb, Olivia Ashley; Pickert, Diane A
    Subject: RE: Food Reduction Recommendations

    Good Afternoon, Jonathan:

    Please contact Diane Pickert at 244-5800 to schedule a time to discuss food  waste reductions. I will not be available until later next week.

    Thank you,


    Dawn Aubrey, Ph.D., MBA, FMP, CEC, CCA
    Associate Director of Housing for Dining Services                                               
    University of Illinois
    407 Clark Hall
    1203 South Fourth Street
    Champaign, Illinois 61820
    Office Direct: 217-244-2997

    From: Johnston, Morgan B
    Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:08 PM
    To: Bressler, Jonathan Louis
    Cc: Webb, Olivia Ashley; Aubrey, Dawn
    Subject: Re: Food Reduction Recommendations

    Hello Jonathan,

    Thanks for reaching out. This looks like an important initiative. 

    There is a team working on vermicomposting at the Sustainable Student Farm this fall, with funding from the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC). I've copied the SSC contact from last year for that project, Olivia Webb, here. 

    I believe she can help you in your efforts. I'd love to be kept informed about what you are doing, so please include me in any meetings you have. We can also reach out to Housing to talk with you about possible strategies. I have copied Dawn Aubrey so she can tell us who to meet with from her team. 



    Sent from my mobile device

    On Aug 27, 2013, at 11:47 AM, "Jonathan Bressler" <> wrote:

    Dear Morgan Johnston, 

    Hello, my name is Jonathan Bressler, and I am the president of Tikkun Chambana, a Jewish environmental RSO.  

    We are trying to reduce food waste, as we have many larger scale food events, and was wondering if you could give us some recommedations on what we could do or if we could somehow piggyback onto what Facilities and Management are doing.  I have looked into a few things of the university and found out about the EnviroPure Food Waste Disposal Systems, but these seem very expensive and well beyond our funding capacity,

    Thank you,

    Jonathan Bressler

    Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences 2014

    College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences

    University of Illinois