Dining for a Cooler Planet

Dining for a Cooler Planet

In 2018, UMass Dining’s Sustainability team created this initiative to address the intersection of food production, consumption, and the rapidly increasing issue of global climate change.

Events feature the innovative practices of food production, preparation and consumption that are helping reduce and even combat carbon emissions.

The Solutions that Inspire Us

These themes help shape each event and the featured menus.

By putting these solutions at the forefront, we are inviting new perspectives into the conversation and showing the possibilities of climate smart dining.

Dining for a Cooler Planet is inspired by PROJECT DRAWDOWN, which addresses diet changes and shifts in agricultural practices as integral for reversing carbon emissions.

Project Drawdown’s mission is to help the world reach “drawdown”—the point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change—as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.”

The Events

Each Dining for a Cooler Planet event is unique and showcases a diverse array of innovative practices within the realm of food production, preparation, and consumption, all aimed at mitigating and combatting carbon emissions. These initiatives represent a crucial response to the pressing challenges posed by climate change.

In the Fall of 2023 UMass Dining Sustainability hosted three Dining for a Cooler Planet events that celebrated resilient local farmers, indigenous foodways, and kelp as a superfood for people and the planet.

October 2023: Local Harvest Dinner Celebration

This event brought together the UMass community to savor a specially crafted menu showcasing the freshest local items from our region. We celebrated and enjoyed a meal with the farmers who cultivate the land with passion and dedication, making each bite a testament to the vibrant spirit of local agriculture in Western Massachusetts.

October 2023: What Indigenous Foodways Teach Us About Climate Action Featuring Chef Juli Vanderhoop

Martha’s Vineyard community leader Julianne Vanderhoop is a mother of two, a Wampanoag tribal elder, and the owner of Orange Peel Bakery. Chef Juli joined us for a demonstration and presentation about indigenous philosophies, food traditions and the connection between people, places, and food.

November 2023: Good Food Should Do Good Event Featuring Atlantic Sea Farms

Jonathan Uribe from Atlantic Sea Farms shares insights into the domestic seaweed market and the versatility of kelp as a sustainable superfood. The event featured a special kelp infused dinner menu.