Local and Sustainable Sourcing
WSU Dining Services is committed to supporting the Inland Northwest farmers and ranchers, and to work alongside state and regional organizations to help support the local and regional economies. We define foods as “local” when they are raised, grown, harvested, processed or manufactured within 150 miles of WSU Pullman, and "regional" when they are within 350 miles.
Grains and Legumes
Dining Services' commitment to sustainability began nearly 10 years ago when we started our partnership with Shepherd's Grain. Shepherd's Grain supplies all of Dining Services' flour for our baked goods and savory recipes. Shepherd's Grain has also partnered with Rizzuto to create a pizza crust that is used at our self-serve pizza stations. Our grill stations have also incorporated a custom-made hamburger made made from Shepherd's Grain flour.
We also use St. Maries Wild Rice, which is produced in St. Maries, ID. We source red and green lentils, barley, dried beans and several varieties of rice from Columbia Bean & Produce located in Moses Lake, WA.
With these ingredients, Dining Services has created several signature recipes including our signature lentil chili, Palouse chocolate lentil cake, lemon garbanzo bean cake, and a wide variety of other cakes and pies.
Dining Services also works with Fresh Nature Foods, out of Spokane, WA. to source green chickpea products. Fresh Nature Foods is the first company is the world to grow, harvest, and supply fresh green chickpeas, which are grown in the state of Washington. We use Fresh Nature Food's green chickpea falafel cakes and green chickpea hummus in our grab and go wraps and snack packs, salad bars, and Grapevine at Southside Cafe.
Zacca hummus, which is used for the made-tor-order sandwiches and wraps at Lighty Espresso bar, is based out of Boise, ID, and sources their chickpeas from Zenner Family Farm in Genesee, ID.
Fruits and Vegetables
One of our well-known desserts is a Washington berry cobbler that became a favorite of our customers. We use local strawberries and berries from Walla Walla, Wash. We also purchase produce from the WSU Organic Farm.
Our primary supplier, Charlie’s Produce, is a distributor of regionally grown fruits and vegetables. Produce comes from family farms located in Wapato, Sunnyside, Pasco and Yakima, Wash. We currently have a partnership with LINC Foods, a local farmers cooperative, to receive weekly deliveries of locally sourced produce at Hillside Cafe.
We have recently partnered with Whitestone Mountain Orchard in Tonasket, WA to source organic apples and pears. In additional to this fruit being local and organic, much of the produce we purchase from this orchard is considered "ugly fruit"- too small, spotty, or mishapen for an average retail market. Not only do we support the local and organic movement by purchasing from Whitetstone Mountain, but we also help to reduce food waste.
Proteins and Dairy Products
Ameristar Meats located in Spokane, Wash. processes the majority of the beef for our dining centers. We also serve cage-free eggs from Wilcox Family Farms.
Our fruit and yogurt bar features bulk yogurt sourced locally from Pure Eire Dairy in Othello, Wash. Their organic whole-milk yogurt comes from 100% grass-fed cows, and the dairy also carries a Certified Animal Welfare Approved certification on top of their organic certification.
WSU Dining is proud to feature Cougar Gold cheese in special recipes. Since the 1930s, Cougar Gold has been a tradition for generations of Cougs. The cheese is made on campus at the WSU Creamery with milk from the WSU dairy herd.
Fair Trade Coffee and Espresso
Our commitment to sustainability is also evident in our purchase of Fair Trade and organic coffee. Local coffee roaster Thomas Hammer supplies drip coffee in the campus dining cafés. We are also partner with Starbucks and Seattle's Best Coffee, who are committed to fair and sustainable practices.