Campus & Community

By the numbers

2 min read

Taking a closer look at the winning recipe

Keeping Harvard fed is a mammoth logistical effort, almost a military operation. The 12 University-owned restaurants, 13 dining halls, and many catered events now serve about 26,000 meals a day — about 5 million a year. University cooks make 40,000 gallons of soup. Students consume 40,000 pounds of regional squash annually, and nearly as much in local tomatoes.

Here’s how it breaks down

Meals served per day: 25,000

Menu items: more than 5,000

Options at every meal: about 100

Recipes in Harvard database: 4,000

Gallons of soup made each year: 40,000

Most popular soup: clam chowder

Most popular entrée: Korean BBQ beef — 1,500 pounds per week

Places to eat on campus: 13 dining halls, 12 restaurants, one kosher kitchen, one faculty club, and a catering service for many event venues

Percentage of food budget for local ingredients: 25

Percentage of local produce: 35-70 percent, depending on the season

Number of local farms supplying Harvard: 250

Number of local food processors supplying Harvard: 29

Sample of foods processed locally: breads, granola, cider, bagels, dried fruit, pasta, salsa, spices, cheese, salad dressing, pita chips, peanut butter, tofu, soy milk, sushi

Percentage of Harvard meals that are vegetarian: 33

Pounds of regional squash grown annually for Harvard: 40,000

Pounds of regional tomatoes used annually at Harvard: 35,150

Average daily dining hall trash: 4,360 pounds

Average daily dining hall compost and recycling: 4,700 pounds

Annual tonnage of compost: 583

Percentage of recyclable waste diverted from dining operations trash: 59

Number of undergraduate dining halls that compost: 12 of 13

Number of Houses offering trayless-optional dining: 3

Percentage of students for whom sustainable food is “extremely important”: 14

Percentage for whom it is “not so important”: 15

Number of Food Literacy Program undergraduate representatives: 15

Source: Harvard University Hospitality and Dining Services