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Eating green at Portland State
Author: Campus Sustainability Office
Posted: July 13, 2012

Finding healthy, sustainable food can be difficult when you’re away from your kitchen. Luckily, there are several restaurants on and around the PSU campus that serve local, organic, or otherwise sustainably-produced foods. 

Organic foods are grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, which are harmful to both our bodies and the environment, and are energy intensive to produce.

Eating locally-grown or produced foods reduces the carbon emissions from transporting food from far away, and also supports farmers and producers right here in the Northwest. We are lucky in Portland to be near to the very fertile farmlands of the Willamette Valley—our local farms tend to be smaller operations that use environmentally-friendly practices and help sustain our regional economy.

Check out these restaurants that feature local, organic food, and sustainable business practices.

  • Hotlips Pizza (SW 6th near Hall) sources many ingredients from local farms, including wheat for their crusts from Shepherd's Grain, a collective of Northwest grain growers that utilize sustainable, low-impact farming practices. Hotlips also delivers by bike or electric vehicle.
  • Laughing Planet (SW 4th and Montgomery) uses local and organic ingredients whenever possible, and features seasonal menu items throughout the year. Their new "Smart Beans," used in burritos and other dishes, are Food Alliance certified and grown in Central Washington using "no-till" farming methods. They also compost and recycle nearly everything.
  • Portland Soup Company (SW 4th and College) emphasizes local, seasonal ingredients in their delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches. Seasonal eating uses local produce when it's at its best, mimicking the earth's natural cycles and reducing the use of energy to transport food from afar. Tomatoes just taste better in the summer anyway!
  • Food for Thought Cafe (basement of Smith Memorial Student Union) focuses heavily on local, organic, and vegetarian/vegan options, and is a student-run, non-profit cooperative. 

"Meatless Mondays," a term coined during WWI to reduce consumption of food staples, is gaining traction again as a means of increasing health and reducing our impacts on the planet. During PSU's 2012 Conservation Challenge, students in residence halls participated in a Meatless Monday at Victor's dining hall. Aiming to have your own personal Meatless Monday is a great way to live more sustainably, and can be done easily at the above restaurants, many others in the area, or with a lunch brought from home.

For other tips on sustainable eating, visit