Sustainability on the Menu

Author: Connor Kobeski


Every semester, the Notre Dame Food Service hosts culinary education programs in the test kitchen of North Dining Hall. This semester’s class entitled “How to Plan, Purchase, and Prepare a Healthy Sustainable Meal for Two” made students aware of how the food we eat impacts the environment.

“One of the most powerful ways we can affect our environment and our personal wellness, for better or worse, is the act of eating,” said Executive Chef and class instructor Don Miller. “We eat every day, so the choices we make in the kinds of foods we eat can make a big difference.” Assisted by Chef Charu Pant, Chef Miller taught students practical life science skills in how to select and prepare seasonal foods. Attendees Lisa Bunn and Lauren Demeter said they believed in Chef Miller’s philosophy that “when you have a respect and an appreciation for food you will live better.”

This wasn’t the first time the dining halls have made sustainability a priority. In 2008, Notre Dame became the first major US university to receive sustainable seafood certification from the Marine Stewardship Council. Appropriately, the menu for the class featured sustainably harvested halibut, seasonal vegetables, and locally grown Michigan apples.

Culinary classes are offered free of charge to Notre Dame students every semester. Information about how to sign-up can be found on the NDFS Website

View Food Service Sustainability Initiatives to learn about other food-related sustainability programs at Notre Dame.