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Arizona State University dining taking part in climate-friendly food program

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Posted at 4:43 PM, Jan 07, 2022

TEMPE, AZ — Arizona State University students returning to campus this semester will have more dining options to choose from, including options that are climate-friendly.

ASU is one of ten universities selected as part of a pilot program that introduces low carbon footprint meal options, known as a "Cool Food Meal." It's a partnership with the World Resources Institute, or WRI, and Aramark as well.

"What we know is that food and agriculture account for 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s becoming increasingly evident that if we want to tackle the climate emergency, we need to think about food," says Edwina Hughes, the head of Cool Food for World Resources Institute.

The "Cool Food Meal" badge appears on certain on-campus menus, identifying meals with a lower carbon footprint. A meal's ingredient and the land eventually used to produce it are the main criteria for the badge.

Some Cool Food meals that will be on-campus include a southwestern sweet potato breakfast skillet, linguine with lemon garlic shrimp, and cauliflower rice stir fry.

Hughes with WRI says an important reason why universities like ASU were selected is due to the commitment by students to combat climate change.

"The university population is very vocal and committed to tackling the climate emergency, but I think there might be a bit of frustration about what do I do, you know, what can I do differently, that can make a difference. When they choose a Cool Food Meal, they know that they’re choosing a climate-friendly meal," Hughes says.