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Food and Beverage Choices Policy

Making healthy options more accessible


The University of California, Berkeley is strongly committed to supporting the health and well-being of all members of the campus community by ensuring that healthy food and beverage choices are available in the foodservice operations identified in this policy. This policy establishes nutrition standards for retail foodservice and markets, vending machines, Athletic concessions, and University-sponsored meetings and events to ensure accessibility of whole and fresh foods, provide healthier alternatives to sugar-sweetened beverages, and engage positive communications promoting healthier choices.

Food and Beverage Choices Policy - Full Version

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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UC Berkeley Food & Beverage Choices Policy

Why

Health education alone—in the absence of change to the food environment —doesn't always produce lasting behavioral change. A nutrition policy to make it easier to find healthy options on the Berkeley campus is one of the most effective environmental strategies to address obesity, prevent diabetes, and improve the diet and health outcomes of the campus population.  This policy will help to ensure that healthy food and beverage choices are available in retail foodservice operations and markets, vending machines, Athletic concessions, and University-sponsored meetings and events. This policy focuses on making the healthy choice the easy choice, rather than taking choices away. The aim is to give individuals a broader range of options from which to choose.

What Is It?

Quick Summary:

  • Items meeting the nutrition standards will be offered at most campus restaurants, retail, and athletic concessions (see more detail below)
  • 50% of options in snack and beverage vending will meet nutrition standards
  • Nutritious and sustainable options should be provided at campus meetings and events

This policy applies to:

  • University operated retail foodservice operations on campus, including Cal Dining and Cal Athletic Concessions
  • University operated retail markets and convenience shops on campus
  • Third-party tenants with new leases or lease renewals on campus
  • Snack and beverage vending machines
  • University-sponsored meetings and events

Examples of the Nutrition Standards

Bear Minimum Nutrition Standards for Food Service

Healthy Approach to Variety and Choice:

  • Nutritious, fresh, whole foods that are minimally processed.
  • Options and ingredients from various cuisines, reflective of Berkeley’s cultural diversity.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit featured across meals and snacks; and available as sides.
  • Whole grain options provided; 100% whole grains are recommended as the standard choice.
  • Plant-based protein/entrée always available when meat entrée is offered.
  • Lean meats that are minimally processed. 
  • Trans-fat free plant oils.

Quality and Quantity:

  • Options of small/moderately-sized portions of baked items, pastries, and desserts.
  • Options of healthier breakfast fare.
  • Combination meals paired with sides of salad greens/non‐fried vegetables or fresh fruit (instead of fries or chips) if combination meals are provided.
  • Combination meals with half portion entrée paired with sides of salad greens/ non‐fried vegetables or fresh fruit if combination meals are provided.
  • Cooking techniques prioritize grilling, roasting, stir-fry, baking and poaching, with minimal deep-frying used as a preparation method. 

For more information, including vending standards, see the full policy on the Campus Policies and Procedures website.

Who Will Participate

Campus Restaurants and Retail Markets

  • ASUC
  • Babette*
  • Brown's, a California Cafe
  • Cafe Zeb*
  • Cafe Think*
  • Common Grounds
  • Free Speech Movement Cafe*
  • Golden Bear Cafe
  • Peet's Coffee (in Brown's, Golden Bear Cafe, RSF coffee cart, Terrace Cafe)
    • Work to reduce added sugar by promoting point-of-service  information on added sugar and a healthier beverage menu
  • Press*
  • Pro Shop
  • Qualcomm*
  • Rice and Bones*
  • Tea One*
  • Terrace Cafe
  • V & A Cafe*
  • Yali's (Stanley Hall and VLSB cart)*

Learn more at Eat Well Berkeley Restaurants and Retail.

Athletic Concessions

  • Athletic events at Cal Memorial Stadium and Haas Pavilion

Meetings & Events

Vending

  • Snack vending provided by Canteen
  • Beverage vending provided by Pepsi*

More information about vending

*Not required to participate until contract/lease is renewed after 1/1/2019.

Voluntary Participation

Foodservice operations recommended (but not required) to participate:

  • Restaurants that are off-campus but on University-controlled property
  • Campus restaurants that are not under leases (independent, private, etc.).

Those who participate voluntarily will be recognized on this page.

How You Can Support a Healthy Campus Environment

Basic Needs
UC Berkeley offers CalFresh Clinics, a Food Assistance Program, a Food Pantry, and more. Learn more on the Basic Needs website.

If you purchase food for University meetings and events - Include nutritious and sustainable options as outlined in the Healthy Meeting and Event Guide. This should be done when University funds are used to purchase food or beverages for University meetings and events. In addition, water, preferably served in bulk to minimize use of single-use water bottles, must be offered as a choice when beverages are offered. Try one of the Eat Well Berkeley caterers!

Provide feedback - Everyone in the campus community, including visitors, are encouraged to provide feedback to us and foodservice operators.

Look for healthy choices on campus - Support businesses that offer healthy options. Look for the Eat Well Berkeley sign and check mark. Find Eat Well Berkeley restaurants here.

Vendors - Visit our Eat Well Berkeley Restaurants and Retail page to find out how you can become an Eat Well Berkeley partner. This process may involve adding a few healthy choices, adjusting your beverage product mix, and/or using simple strategies to promote the healthier choice. Our nutrition staff is here to help.

Looking for a microwave or water refill station? 
Check out Berkeley Food Institute's foodscape map.

Development and Oversight

This policy was developed by a working group of subject matter experts from University Health Services, School of Public Health, CNR - Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, and the Berkeley Food Institute. This group reviewed nutrition policies, best practices, public health guidelines and toolkits, and consulted with colleagues through the country. The policy was vetted and reviewed by administrators, faculty, stakeholders, students and vendors.

University Health Services is responsible for implementation and oversight of this policy. 

This policy is overseen by the Food and Beverage Choices Policy Advisory Committee, which consists of registered dietitians and other public health experts.

Provide Feedback

Complete this form to provide feedback regarding the Food & Beverage Choices Policy or any of its components. 

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