FAMU Dining Serves Up Healthy Choices

Whether at the Café, the Rattler’s Nest, or any of the other Metz-operated dining facilities on campus, FAMU students, faculty and staff can find plenty of ways to eat healthy meals while also protecting the environment.

One reason is that when the Metz Culinary Services was chosen as the campus food service company in 2014, an important criterion was the company’s commitment to sustainability.

Metz makes a concerted effort to serve plenty of produce, offer vegetarian options, and increase educational efforts to encourage healthy dining habits, including encouraging diners to avoid food waste. Also, company policy sets out standards for behind-the-scenes sustainability practices.

Each day, a range of wholesome produce is provided, including vegetarian entrees for those choosing to “eat low on the food chain.” Choosing plant-based proteins is eco-friendly because many studies show that meat production requires much more energy and other inputs than plant production. This is essentially because two stages of production are required—growing the plant food to feed the animals, then growing the animals themselves.

Meat production is responsible for significantly more greenhouse gases emissions than plant production. Gases released include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides – three main greenhouse gases. The “water footprint” of meat is also big—for example, it takes 1,800- 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Studies show that relying more greatly on plant protein also provides health benefits – vegetarian diets are associated with lower blood pressure and lower incidences of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, hypertension, and Type 2 diabetes.

For those new to sampling vegetarian food, there is a daily veggie special at the “Main Plate” to try tasty new items like quinoa casserole. While fried chicken is a reliable standard on “Fried Chicken Wednesdays,” Chef Clark Thomas and his team also provide lower-fat options such as grilled and baked chicken and fish.


Campus diners can choose from a wide selection of frest fruits and vegetables.

Metz is committed to purchasing only NAE (No Antibiotics Ever) chicken by the end of 2016. Metz also uses line caught tuna, cage-free eggs and steroid-free chicken breasts.

As for the other part of the food equation, the choices made by diners, Metz uses informational displays at dining locations encourage patrons to do their part to select wisely and to minimize waste. Signs promote selection of colorful produce, encourage diners to try “Meatless Mondays,” and exhort all to “Take what you like, but eat what you take” to prevent food waste.

Another important strategy for sustainable dining operations is the drive to source more locally grown produce. Tallahassee and Leon County are striving to strengthen the local food economy, make wholesome more accessible to all citizens and support small- and medium-scale farmers who help to make that possible. As a historically agricultural university, FAMU is striving to model this more sustainable approach in its campus food systems by taking lessons from the classroom and the field to its dining operations.

no waste pic

The dining areas feature messages that encourage nutritious food choices and waste prevention.


Earth Week 2016

Event Details:

  • Date: April 18 - 24 2016 
  • Venue: On campus & around town


April 22nd, 2016 is the 46th International Earth Day. The entire FAMU campus will be celebrating with a week of events hosted by various departments. 

EW2016 poster

Monday April 18,3-5pm - Poisoned Waters: Flint Michigan and the Quest for Environmental Justice and Accountability. Expert panelists, attorneys and environmental activists discuss the dire effects of lead-contaminated water. FAMU Law School - Room 263.

Tuesday, April 19, 3pm - Reflections on Sustainability in Cuba: Student Documentaries. Black Archives Auditorium. Hosted by the Political Science department, School of Social Sciences Arts, and Humanities.

Wednesday, April 20, 12pm - Art of Sustainability Mural Reveal at the Campus Recycling Center, 644 Gamble Street (across from FAMU Village). Come out to see the student designed, collaborative art mural designed. Drinks & light hors d'oeuvres will be served.

Thursday, April 21, 6pm - Power Dialogue is a forum to generate discussion on EPA’s Clean Energy Plan amongst interested parties. This event is a collaboration between the School of the Environment and the STEM Public Policy Forum, and is open to the public. FSH Science Research Bld Auditorium – Rm 214

Friday, April 22, 10 am to 2 pm - Second annual FAMU Earth Day Festival on the Quad. Celebrate the last day of classes with fun in the sun as we learn, make, and play. Featuring campus and community exhibitors, hands-on activities, live performances, games and prizes.  Individuals,  organizations and departments are invited to participate in the Green Festival as vendors,  exhibitors or performers. Tables, chairs and publicity provided. Share your exciting sustainability related work or bring your engaging ideas and activities for attendees. Co-sponsored with the Green Coalition, Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and OSA's Set Friday. Music by DJ Ashé.

Friday, April 22, 2 p.m. - Join the School of Environment 'Under the Solar Umbrellas' at FSH Science Research Building South Entrance to get a first hand look at the new solar charging stations and learn from expert faculty about renewable energy.

Saturday, April 23, 3:30pm – Feast with a Farmer. FAMU Small Farms Program is bringing growing guru Jim Gerritsen, to speak on agroecology and organic farming systems. Indigo Bistro Tickets are $25 and in limited supply. Click here for tickets and details. Co-sponsored with Sustainable Tallahassee.

Sunday, April 24, 11am-1pm - Ashe Indie Festival Brunch featuring a presentation by DOMI Ventures on sustainable business and a screening of "The Coconut Revolution." B.L. Perry Hall. To participate, purchase a ticket for $7 here.

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Sustainability @ FAMU

Sustainability at Florida A&M University is about the teaching, research and application of environmental and resource stewardship so people and planet prosper. The Sustainability Institute serves as the hub of all sustainability-related efforts at the university, bringing students, staff, faculty and the community together around creative collaborations.

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