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The Green Life: Universities Strive for Sustainable Dining

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June 30, 2011

Universities Strive for Sustainable Dining

CollegeSouthern California's Pomona College has become America's first liberal-arts college to earn the Marine Stewardship Council's Chain of Custody certification, allowing the school to serve seafood with a mostly clean conscience.

After a comprehensive audit of the fisheries that provide seafood to the school, including a third-party assessment of sustainability and management practices, the MSC concluded that Pomona's seafood is sustainable at every step of the process that leads fish from the sea to students' plates.

Pomona's certification comes at a time when many colleges, including Dartmouth and UCLA, are trying to make student dining more environmentally friendly. Buying produce from local family farms has become a popular option in the collegiate quest for sustainability, especially for universitites in rural areas. By buying local, schools support small organic farms and reduce the emissions caused by long-distance freighting.

Having certifiably sustainable seafood, however, is especially important considering the state of the world's marine wildlife. To find a certified sustainable fishery near you, sign up for the MSC's fisheries announcements. And if you're a restaurant operator or fish supplier, you can get certified too. Or if you're just a fan of fish looking to make the oceans a little healthier, the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch can get you started.

--Colin Griffin

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