Deliberate Dining

Deliberate Dining

At Duke Duking, Sustainable Dining is Deliberate Dining

At Duke Dining, we think being “sustainable” means operating deliberately—being intentional and thoughtful in how we feed the Duke community. That’s why we call our sustainability program, “Deliberate Dining.”

Duke Dining recognizes that the modern food system often pursues efficiencies and profit at the expense of environmental health, community well-being, and fair economic relationships. Faced with this reality, we eagerly take on the role of potential catalyst in this system.

In short, sustainability—operating deliberately—isn’t optional for Duke Dining; it’s who we are and how we define ourselves.


Deliberate Dining Plan

Learn more by reading our Deliberate Dining Plan.


Reusable Mug Discount!

Every day, customers who bring their own reusable cup* to any Duke Dining location receive a 20 percent discount on brewed coffee or fountain beverage.


*Reusable cups cannot exceed 16 ounces. The discount does not apply to specialty beverages.

Climate Conscious Dining

Climate Conscious Dining means thinking about the carbon footprint of the food you eat and, at the same time, honoring your health and nutrition needs.


To promote climate conscious dining, vegetarian and vegan entrees are offered at every meal, every day at all Duke Dining locations.

Sign Up for the Reusable To-Go Container Program!

At the Brodhead Center, you can ditch disposables and use a reusable to-go container.


Sign up here to participate in the reusable container program!



To help steer our efforts, we’ve identified a series of specific food & sustainability problems that we are working to address.

Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture:

The overuse of antibiotics, synthetic hormones,
and pesticides in food production poses a risk to human health.

Environmental Impacts:

Conventional farming practices often
lead to environmental destruction on
land in the form of soil infertility, water pollution, and erosion.

Ocean Impacts:

Conventional fishing and fish farming
practices often lead to environmental destruction at sea in the form of ecosystem collapse, animal extinction, and water pollution.

Labor Practices:

Food production workers are often subjected to unfair labor practices where they are paid too little and exposed to workplace hazards.

Animal Welfare:

Conventional food production often involves the unethical treatment of animals where they are denied the “five freedoms” (freedom from hunger or thirst, discomfort, pain, injury or disease, freedom to express most normal behavior, freedom from fear and distress).

Institutional Structures:

Systemic, underlying policies and industry practices encourage and create an unsustainable food system.

Climate Change:

The production and over consumption of certain foods are contributing to climate change.

Food Literacy:

There is a lack of food literacy among the general population.

Food Waste:

Food waste and food loss are caused by practices on the farm, in the retail market, and at the point of consumption.

Economic Cost:

The economic and operational viability of running an operation that prioritizes sustainability can be difficult.



Deliberate Dining Procurement


It matters where our food comes from. Duke Dining has identified clear standards for the food it prefers to purchase.

Deliberate Dining Menus


Our food choices affect both our health and the environment. Duke Dining is committed to protecting both.

Deliberate Dining Waste

Waste Reduction & Recovery

Duke Dining is working to reduce dining-related waste across campus. 




Our 2021 Results:
Each year, Duke Dining tracks its sustainable purchasing as we move towards our 2024 goals.

Deliberate Dining 2021 Results

2017-2018 Deliberate Dining Report
2018-2019 Deliberate Dining Report