Campus Dining


Dining news, upcoming special events and responses to your suggestions

Use our E-Suggestion Box for a response within 7 days or posted on our blog below. Looking for an older response? Check our response archive here


October 1, 2013

Did you know the tofu served in the Marketplace is local and organic?

This week’s local highlight is certified organic Tofu produced by the House Foods America Corporation. When House Foods Japan partnered with Hinode Tofu brand in 1983, House Foods America was born, and they have been premium tofu purveyors ever since. Made from 100% U.S. grown soybeans, House Foods Organic Tofu is made just 32 miles from Oxy. Dedicated to healthy products and environmental preservation, they have earned a variety of certifications including Non GMO Project Verified, Quality Insurance International Organic, Good Manufacturing Practice, and more. They also installed a rooftop solar system in 2010 to help deal with the carbon footprint of making 70 million blocks of tofu per year.

Accepted theory holds that tofu was invented in 179 BC by a prince in the Han Dynasty of China – yours won...

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September 26, 2013

Occidental ranks #14 in The Daily Meal's annual study of almost 2,000 campus dining facilities in colleges around the nation. 

On September 19th The Daily Meal released their annual top 60 rankings of four year college food services. Some of the schools, the study notes, failed to pass even the most basic health inspection, while others excelled, with fresh, healthy food prepared with creativity. Occidental, a newcomer to the list, jumped right to the top, outranking such schools as Harvard, Stanford, the Claremont Colleges, and almost 2,000 others. The Daily Meal called Oxy's food service impressive "on all fronts." 

A few of the categories the study examined included:

Health Food/Local and Sustainable: This category...

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September 16, 2013

DID YOU KNOW? Nearly every single carrot served at Oxy is from a local farm!

This week’s local highlight is Carrots from Grimmway Farms. Grimmway Farms is located just 110 miles from Oxy in the San Joaquin Valley in central California. The farm was established in 1968 when the Grimm brothers Rod and Bob decided to set up a roadside produce stand in Anaheim. Three years later the Grimm brothers realized that carrots were a perfect crop to rotate with their corn, and soon they moved to Bakersfield where the climate allows for two carrot crops per year. After more than 4 decades, Grimmway Farms (AKA Cal-Organic) has grown to be the largest grower, producer, and distributor of carrots in the world, and supplies nearly all the carrots that Campus Dining uses at...

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September 9, 2013

This week’s local highlight is shiitake mushrooms from New Union Farm.

New Union Farm was incorporated in 1995 in Riverside, CA after Andy Quach emigrated from Hong Kong to try his hand at mushroom farming, so these mushrooms only need to travel 50 miles to be a part of your meal. New Union Farm now operates over 500,000 mushroom beds, growing primarily organic shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

Growing mushrooms is a complex process that starts with creating the perfect substrate mixture – Quach uses sawdust, limestone, organic cornmeal and organic soybean meal. In addition, the mushroom spores have to be heated to get rid of any potential molds or bad bacteria. The growing process also requires constant attention because mushrooms are extremely temperature sensitive. Andy still works with a small crew of eight, delivering fresh mushrooms daily to local buyers. Find New Union Farm...

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September 3, 2013

This week’s local highlight is Tomatoes from Deardorff Family Farms, located just 60 miles away in Oxnard, CA.

Originally started in 1937 right here in Los Angeles, Deardorff-Jackson had to move its operations to Ventura and Orange counties because of urbanization. Today it is operated by the fourth generation of Deardorffs, and is focusing more than ever on sustainability. They strive to mitigate chemical usage, and increasingly rely on ‘soft’ tactics such as beneficial insects for pest management. They also work to maintain healthy soil with cover crops and crop rotation. Deardorff Family Farms is also responsible about giving back to the community, providing all their employees with good health care and donating to educational charity.

Now grown and consumed en masse in every state in the U.S., tomatoes were slow to catch on because of a...

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August 29, 2013

The FAQ Page for the new meal plan structure is up. Send additional questions or comments to

August 24, 2013

This week’s local highlight is Celery from Bonipak Produce, just 160 miles from Oxy. 

Located in the fertile Santa Maria valley, Bonipak Produce is able to grow celery year round in the mild climate, helping Oxy to reduce its carbon footprint by sourcing vegetables locally. Bonipak has a strong commitment to both food safety and sustainability, and is on the forefront of reducing water consumption and run-off. They use over 400 miles of drip irrigation, which allows for precise water application and saves thousands of gallons of water every year. Started in 1932, Bonipak is still run by the direct descendants of the founding family.

Composed mostly of water, but with a high dietary fiber content, celery is a great low calorie food choice. Remnants of celery plants were found in King Tut’s tomb,...

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August 14, 2013

Campus Dining Exceeds Real Food Challenge Goals with 25% Real Food!

Campus Dining is proud to announce that for academic year 2012-2013, real food purchases accounted for 25% of our spending, surpassing the Real Food Challenge goal of 20% real food. Campus Dining has been involved in the Real Food Challenge since 2008, when a student discovered the program and encouraged Oxy to get involved. The Real Food Challenge is a nationwide network of institutions committed to redirecting 20% of all food purchases (currently 4 billion dollars overall) towards real food (local,...

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May 19, 2013

At Oxy for all or part of the summer?

Check out these links for Summer Dining:

Summer Services

Summer Meal Plans

Summer Hours

Summer Green Bean (Opens June 3)


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May 6, 2013

Week of May 5th

Mushrooms from Mountain Meadow Mushrooms

This week’s local highlight is mushrooms from Mountain Meadow Mushrooms. Mountain Meadow Mushrooms is located in Escondido, CA so they only have to travel 115 miles to get to Oxy. Mountain Meadow Mushrooms was established in 1952, and is currently the largest mushroom producer in the county, growing and shipping 100,000 pounds of mushrooms per week.

Growing mushrooms is a complex process that starts with creating the perfect compost mixture. Of the 63-day production cycle, 25 days are devoted to producing the compost soil. This process requires constant attention because the piles must be heated, cooled, watered, and turned on a daily basis. The mushrooms are grown in this nutrient-rich soil in small beds located in dark, temperature-controlled rooms...

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