Student interns work with UVM Dining to audit purchases during three representative months (July, October, and February) to determine the Real Food percentage for each academic year.

What's Real on Campus?

NEW! Dining Units by the Numbers shows the status of Real Food at different dining venues around campus.

Since UVM signed the Real Food Campus Commitment in 2012, the Real Food Working Group has been collaborating with UVM Dining to identify opportunities for new products to help us increase our Real Food percentage on campus. Below are some examples of real food you're already eating, some recent shifts, and ongoing research to identify new products.

Our Big Hitters

All of these items are real, across the entire UVM campus:

  • 100% local milk
  • 100% organic granola
  • 100% local & organic tofu from Vermont Soy
  • 100% humane shell eggs*
  • 100% ecologically sound or fair trade tea bags
  • 100% ecologically sound seafood
  • 100% fair or organic coffee
  • 100% local & organic maple syrup from the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center
  • 100% fair and organic bananas from Equal Exchange**
  • 100% local apples from Champlain Orchards***

*As available
**Due to inconsistent availability, our distributor sometimes substitutes other brands. In those cases, we have asked our distributor to prioritize other fair trade or ecologically sound alternatives.
***Champlain Orchards provides post-harvest season apples longer than any other VT apple supplier, but even they run out at some point in the year. During that short period of time, our distributor substitutes conventional apples.

Recent Product Shifts


  • UVM Dairy Bar opens, serving ice cream made from cows managed by the UVM CREAM program


  • Vermont milk from Thomas Dairy is standard offer across campus.


  • Vermont maple syrup (local & organic) is now the standard on campus. If you want the immitation syrup, you'll have to ask. All of our syrup comes from UVM's own Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill, VT.
  • As more coffee blends and flavors have become avaialble as fair or organic, we've been able to eliminate all coffee that does not meet Real Food Challenge criteria. We carry four different coffee brands on campus: Speeder & Earl's, Green Mountain, Vermont Artisan, and Aspretto. We've been able to secure beans that meet this requirement from all four companies. This commitment does not include bottled coffee drinks.


  • Ground beef from Black River Meats (local)
  • Bottled drinks from Naked Juice (ecologically sound)
  • Sandwich bread from VT Bread Company (organic)
  • Bottled milk from Thomas Dairy (local)
  • Potatoes from Vermont Food Venture Center (local)


  • Bananas from Equal Exchange (fair)
  • Burgers and cookies from Vermont Bean Crafters (local, organic)
  • Snack bars from Garuka Bars (organic)
  • Milk from Kimball Brook Farm (organic, local)


  • Produce from UVM Catamount Farm (local)

Product Research

UVM students conduct research on potential products through class projects and internships. Below are highlights of student efforts to identify new products to bring to campus.

Fall 2014

What is Real Food?

A product must qualify under at least one of the following categories. For a detailed explanation of each of the Real Food categories and the associated criteria, visit the Real Food Calculator website.

Independently or cooperatively owned producers who gross <1% of industry leader annually, within 250 miles from campus.

Includes organic products and sustainable seafood that aim to minimize environmental impact.

Any product where the workers involved are paid and treated well. Common items are coffee, tea, chocolate, and exotic fruits.

Many qualifying certifications for this category ensure that the animal was well treated.