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.


April 15, 2013

Did you know that strawberries are number 6 on the "Dirty Dozen" list of most pesticide contaminated produce?

This week, the Local Highlight features Strawberries from the Rodriguez Brothers Ranch. The Rodriguez Brothers Ranch is a certified organic farm that has been growing organic berries in Ventura Country since 2004, just 70 miles from Oxy! 

Beginning as pickers in the fields, Roberto and Manuel Rodriguez decided to start a farm of their own and use organic practices to protect the health of their families and workers. The 35-acres Rodriguez Ranch has been family owned and operated from day one. Along with the help of their wives and children, 16 out of the 20 farm employees are Rodriguez cousins! Although it's more energy intensive to grow strawberries organically, the Rodriguez Ranch is committed to this method because it helps maintain the health of the soil,...

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April 8, 2013

Be Wise Ranch has been growing organic produce since 1977!

This week’s local highlight is Zucchini from Be Wise Ranch. Be Wise Ranch is a certified organic farm located in the Santa Fe Valley, just eight miles east of San Diego, and only 120 miles from Oxy. They have been growing organic produce since 1977, and been certified for over 20 years, so these zucchini are safer for the environment and your health. Find them at the Grill and Homestyle.

Be Wise Ranch organic vegetables and fruits are known nationally for their delicious flavor and fresh, sun-ripened quality. Bill Brammer, owner of Be Wise Ranch, has been committed to sustainable agriculture since the early days of the organic movement, and during his five-year term as the state president of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), helped draft...

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April 1, 2013

DID YOU KNOW: That Every. Single. Carrot served at Oxy is from a local farm?

This week’s local highlight is Carrots from County Line Harvest Farm. County Line Harvest is a certified organic farm with two locations in California: one in Petaluma, Marin County, and one in Thermal, Riverside County. The Thermal location is considered local and is just 135 miles from Oxy. The two farm locations allow them to grow produce year-round. They grow lettuces, specialty greens, roots, herbs, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers and summer squash.

David Retsky started County Line Harvest with only six acres, and named the farm after its location on the Sonoma-Marin County line. Since its start in 2000, the farm has expanded to its two current farms that, together, total nearly 100 acres. County Line Harvest's Petaluma farm has been certified organic since 2004, and its Thermal location has...

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March 25, 2013

Campus Dining is excited to continue its partnership with South Central Farmers' Cooperative!


This week's Local Highlight is Green Chard from South Central Farmers’ Cooperative (SCFC). Occidental College has maintained a strong relationship with SCFC over the last several years, and this is their first produce delivery from their new permanent location in Buttonwillow, CA, located just 120 miles from Oxy. Last summer, SCFC was finally able to move from Bakersfield to Buttonwillow, but transplanting their entire farming operation required a temporary interruption of produce sales. Farmers needed a long transition period to work out all the kinks of a new land base, including getting used to new land conditions, the weather, installing a water pump, and getting their vegetable harvest to the same level it was in the past. All...

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March 18, 2013

At the General Assembly meeting on February 11, members of the Meal Plan Advisory Committee and Oxy's Budget Office presented a proposed change to the structure of residential meal plans, effective fall 2013

March 18, 2013

This week’s local highlight is Hass Avocados from Eco Farms in Temucula, located just 90 miles from Oxy. Known as the “fertility fruit” in Aztec culture, avocados have been successfully cultivated for over 10,000 years, and are native to the Caribbean, South, and Central America. They were introduced to the United States in the early 19th century and have thrived in the Southern California region, which now produces 95% of the nation’s avocados!

Eco Farms has been an established organic and environmentally-minded farm for over 30 years. Steve Taft, President and CEO of Eco Farms, was raised in a...

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March 4, 2013

Did You Know: Many of herbs used by Campus Dining are also local and organic?

This week’s Local Highlight is organic Cilantro from the John Givens Farm. The cilantro plant is very ancient, and it is referenced in many ancient texts. Scholars believe that the Roman Empire is responsible for the spread of cilantro around the world, and it is now grown and used in almost every country in the world! The largest cilantro producers are located in India, China, and Mexico, but this cilantro is local and the farm is located just 100 miles from Oxy! Find this cilantro at the Monday Stir Fry Station and the Wednesday shrimp taco bar.  

John Givens started Givens Farm in the Goleta Valley under the “Something Good” label in 1980 with only 1 acre of land. “The farm has expanded to its present size of 180 acres in 12 locations stretching over...

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February 27, 2013

This week’s local highlight is local company Driftwood Dairy, located just 10 miles away from Occidental. Started in El Monte by Mike Dolan in 1946, the business was built on the family dairy legacy going back to their dairy farm in Ireland. Driftwood started as a single cash and carry store in El Monte, and a home delivery route where Mike would deliver milk. Over the years business expanded to include hospitals, schools, restaurants, bakeries, coffee houses, cafeterias and even other creameries; Driftwood Dairy now serves over 2,500 schools daily. In 2006 Driftwood Dairy was bought from the Dolan family by investors, and now grosses over 100 million a year. Driftwood only uses milk from cows not treated with the growth hormone rBST, and has made strong commitments to ensuring...

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February 19, 2013

This week’s local highlight is All Natural Free Range Chicken from Mary’s Chicken.

This week’s local highlight is All Natural Free Range Chicken from Mary’s Chicken. Mary’s Chicken has been family owned and operated since 1954, and is currently run by Mary’s son David Pittman in the San Joaquin valley, just 200 miles from Oxy. Mary’s Free Range Chicken is certified by the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards Program through the Global Animal Partnership. This program encourages higher welfare practices and systems to benefit the farmers, consumers, and the animals. Mary's California Bronze Chicken was the first in the United States to achieve the...

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February 11, 2013

Washington State is the West Coast's main apple producer, but the largest producer of organic apples is right here in California!

This week’s local highlight is Pink Lady Apples from Cuyama Orchards, which is located 30 miles northeast of Santa Barbara, and just 84 miles from Oxy. The orchard is located in the southern end of the Cuyama Valley surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest. The area is so remote that there are no telephone lines, no cell phone reception, and there is only one incoming road! This spot does, however, provide the perfect growing conditions for Pink Lady apples. The Cuyama Valley location and elevation (3,200 feet) provides the perfect combination of warm days and cool nights that these apples need.

Cuyama Orchards was started in 1980, when Howard and Jean Albano spontaneously bought land in Cuyama Valley. After growing hay for...

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