Education, Outreach and Awareness

Student Volunteers

Student volunteers Emily Bookstein and Briana Swette hand out buttons, t-shirts, and prizes to help promote and R&DE Stanford Dining's Climate Conscious Food Week


Eating and growing food offers us the opportunity to engage on a daily basis with issues related to health, the environment, social equity and the global economy. The Sustainable Food Program fosters this experiential learning in our dining halls, our gardens and the classrooms by creating opportunities for students to experience fresh food, agriculture, food customs and sustainability as integral parts of their education and everyday life. Below are some examples of how we bring this to life.

Sustainable Food Events

Know Your Food Week: R&DE Stanford Dining hosted “Know Your Food Week” in November 2010, which created a connection between Stanford students and the food they eat by engaging them in the history, origin, cultural importance, ecological impact and societal implications of their food. Know Your Food Week was kicked off with sustainable seafood, highlighted by guest chef Charlie Ayers, the first Executive Chef at Google. Several hundred students participated in the event by providing daily passwords to volunteers from the Stanford Farm Project, Students for a Sustainable Stanford, the Green Living Council, and others.

Climate Conscious Food Week: in support of’s International Day of Climate Action, R&DE Stanford Dining hosted the first Climate Conscious Food Week in October 2009 to educate Stanford Students about the impact of our food choices on the climate. Over 30 student volunteers educated their classmates about climate-friendly eating habits in the dining halls throughout the week.

Stanford Seafood Sustainability Week: (November 10 - 14, 2008), all nine dining halls, Schwab Executive Services, and R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries’ retail cafes (Union Square, The Axe & Palm, Olives @ Bldg. 160, Alumni Café), Stanford Catering, and Stanford Concessions at Stanford University all focused exclusively on offering sustainable seafood items.


The Sustainable Food Program actively collaborates with staff and faculty to provide educational opportunities to students and others on the Stanford campus. Through lectures, class projects, and collaborative coursework, we are able to engage students in many topics relating to the food system.

Current course collaborations include, among others:

EARTHSYS 180B: Principles and Practices of Sustainable Agriculture

Field-based training in ecologically sound agricultural practices at the Stanford Community Farm. Weekly lessons, field work, and group projects reflect topics covered in lectures. Includes a field trip to an educational farm in the area. Topics include: soils, composting, irrigation techniques, IPM, basic plant anatomy and physiology, weeds, greenhouse management, marketing, and more.

MS&E 289: Designing for Sustainable Abundance

Hands-on, team-based, multidisciplinary class, uses radically human-centered approach to tackle sustainability challenges in areas like food and transportation. Teams develop solutions that improve environmental and economic sustainability as well as physical and emotional well-being. Students benefit from close interaction with the teaching team, support from project sponsors, and the varied perspectives of numerous guest speakers. Application required. Limited enrollment. Design Institute class; see

For a full listing of courses related to sustainable food and agriculture, check out the Stanford Educational Farm’s list of “recommended courses”: