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Our Menus

“I am a healthy eater.”

A healthy diet is one that consist of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, and our dietitian works very closely with the culinary team to ensure our menus provide just that. If you want to be a healthy eater and don’t know exactly where to start, contact our dietitian for a private consultation. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter to learn more about Well Fed.

Every day we:

  • Flag “Smart Choice” menu items which follow a criteria based on USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans which take into account saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.
  • Post calories for all menu items at the point of service in dining halls and food courts to help guide customers who are looking for the (more-likely) healthier choice.
  • Provide full nutrition facts and ingredient listings online for all menu items.
  • Seek feedback from our Student Dining Board and customers to improve nutritional variety.
  • Allow customers to substitute a side of chips for an apple using their PLUS Swipes.

“I am a vegetarian.”

We have a large vegetarian and vegan population here on campus. Since we strive to meet the demands of the population we serve (and even scored an A+ on Peta2’s vegan report card), this means vegetarians will have no problem following a plant-based diet on the meal plan.

Every day we:

  • Flag “Vegetarian” menu items that exclude meat, poultry, seafood, and gelatin.
  • Flag “Vegan” menu items that exclude meat, poultry, seafood, gelatin, dairy, eggs, honey, and vitamin D3.
  • Designate a station, Plant Forward, at both dining halls to plant-forward vegan offerings.
  • Designate a vegan fryer to reduce cross-contact with animal products.
  • Allow you to customize your meal to be vegetarian/ vegan at any of our made-to-order stations where you can also order soy nuggets upon request.
  • Offer dairy-free alternatives including soy milk and almond milk.
  • Feature vegetarian protein offerings such as eggs, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, tofu, legumes, seeds, and quinoa at our salad bar.
  • Ensure half of our soups and pizzas are vegetarian and occasionally vegan.
  • Provide vegan black bean burgers, garden burgers, and a dessert.
  • Cook with dairy-free margarine.

We also:

  • Have a vegan representative on our Student Dining Board.
  • Participate in “Meat ‘Less’ Mondays” and offer more plant-based options where there would have been a meat option.
  • Partner with Vegans for Peace on campus.

“I am an advocate for the environment, and I eat a climate-friendly diet.”

A climatarian diet, or climate-friendly diet, is one that prioritizes plant-based and whole foods rather than animal proteins and processed foods. It also emphasizes local and seasonal eating; for example, eating a North Carolina-grown apple in the fall rather than a pineapple that was transported from South America.

At CDS, we strive to make an impact on the health of our planet through our sustainable menus. We have committed to purchasing at least 20% local and/or sustainably and ethically produced foods in our dining halls. Our local purchasing program reaches beyond that goal, with over 30% of foods sourced from farms and businesses within 250 miles of campus! We maintain consistent sustainable menu options, including but not limited to grass-fed burgers, Firsthand Foods breakfast meats, local dairy products, and cage-free chicken & eggs. We also serve exclusively Larry’s Coffee in the dining halls, which is USDA Organic, Fair Trade, and roasted locally in Durham.

Here’s how we make climate friendly eating easy at CDS:
– Our digital menus have filters for Organic, Local, Coolfood, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Sustainable Seafood offerings.
– Our Local Chalkboards are updated biweekly by our Sustainability Team to highlight which local products are currently found on the menus.
– Daily vegan and plant-forward offerings, as well as the incorporation of Coolfood Meals as of Spring 2024.
– We partner with students through the Institute of the Environment to audit our purchases each semester to ensure we are meeting our sustainable purchasing goals.

“I eat halal.”

We have partnered with the Muslim Student Association (MSA) to bring more options to campus. At Chase, halal chicken thighs, chicken breast, lamb, brisket, and bone-in chicken are on the menu several times per week. Recipes containing these halal-certified proteins are identified with a “halal” icon if they also exclude pork, pork by-products including gelatin, and cooking alcohol. Accommodations can be made at select customizable stations upon placing your order with the attendant. Full ingredient listings are available online.

Trout, salmon, mahi, and tuna are also often on the menu sporadically throughout the week. To reduce the risk of cross-contact with non-halal meats, we use color coordinated serving utensils at other stations in the dining hall. There are currently two side dishes on our entire 4-week menu cycle containing pork: collard greens and succotash. We make sure these sides are not placed at the same station where halal meat is served. All other sides are cooked with oil, vegan margarine, or are steamed. Our retail partner, Mediterranean Deli, has certified halal proteins.

During the month of Ramadan, halal offerings will be available at Chase during Dinner every day, and during Late Night Sunday through Thursday. Dates are provided at the entrance of Chase during Ramadan. Customers can check out a green to-go box for meals that will be eaten at a later time.

Dietary Terms

Smart Choice- Menu items that meet a criteria based on USDA Dietary Guidelines:

  • Saturated fat provides <10% of total calories
  • 0g trans fat
  • < 60mg of cholesterol
  • 480mg sodium per serving
  • Added sugar provides < 10% of total calories
  • Not deep-fried
  • Breads and pasta must be whole-grain
  • No partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
  • No high fructose corn syrup

Halal- Menu items that include halal-certified meat and exclude pork, gelatin, and cooking alcohol.
Made Without Gluten – Menu items that are prepared without wheat, barley, rye, or any other gluten-containing ingredients.
Vegan – Menu items that exclude meat, poultry, seafood, gelatin, dairy, eggs, honey, and vitamin D3.
Vegetarian – Menu items that exclude meat, poultry, seafood, and gelatin.
Organic – Products that are USDA Organic Certified.
Local – Menu items that include products grown or produced within 250 miles of Chapel Hill.
Sustainable Seafood – Seafood that is Certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
Coolfood – Coolfood meals are nutritious, low-carbon, climate-friendly meals that have been analyzed by the World Resources Institute. Learn more here.