WMU Dining Service is committed to serving products grown and/or processed in the Great Lakes states (Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin). Items that are grown and/or processed in this region are labeled with our Locally Sourced logo in the dining halls. The purpose of the Locally Sourced initiative is to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting goods from processors to end users by reducing the miles that food travels before it reaches the plate. WMU Dining Services supports the growth of this initiative that provides economic support to the Great Lakes region. The Great Lakes region provides us with a diverse agricultural base, which gives us the economic opportunity to use locally sourced food items that are produced, processed and distributed in this region.
There are many items regularly served in the dining halls and Campus Cafés, or purchased for our special events that fall within this definition of Locally Sourced. Most entrees and many of the side dishes, soups, salads and desserts are prepared in our kitchens. Food items prepared from recipes using primarily a particular food, or a significant majority of ingredients from the Great Lakes region will also be labeled with the Locally Sourced logo.
Our dairy products are from a local dairy in Battle Creek, Michigan. Groups of items from our dairy are not labeled with our Locally Sourced label sticker, but have information in a posted format. This is true for other items that are routinely available, such as bagels baked in Kalamazoo.
Our produce is from a local distributor in Niles, Michigan who obtain much of their produce from this region. Produce items are labeled with the Locally Sourced label when they have been grown within the Great Lakes region.
Dining Services will pursue opportunities to expand our purchasing practices to take advantage of products available locally, always weighing food safety, economics, reliability and availability of products, and student preferences in these purchasing practices.