LETTER TO THE EDITOR: USC should switch food products to maintain sustainable food

USC students have a history of actively supporting worthwhile causes encompassing a diverse set of issues. Reading the Dec. 2 piece “Students advocate for solar panel installation” inspired me to voice my own opinion on campus sustainability efforts and a specific initiative we may be missing out on.

USC has already taken big steps in decreasing its carbon footprint, particularly within its Hospitality Department. USC Hospitality donates unused food, recycles kitchen grease and sources its food locally. Although these efforts are important and should not go unnoticed, there is always room to achieve more. By simply shifting mayonnaise and cookie dough suppliers, USC could dramatically decrease its environmental impact. Hundreds of universities and corporations, including Cornell, UC Berkeley, University of Connecticut, 7-11 and Google, have collaborated with a new food tech startup, Hampton Creek. Hampton Creek’s two predominant products, Just Mayo and Just Cookies, are invariably delicious, lack most common allergens and happen to be egg-free — an ingredient omission which has spared millions of grams of carbon emissions.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that animal agriculture, including egg and dairy production, accounts for 18 percent of global greenhouse emissions. In addition to reducing our campus carbon footprint even further, making the switch to Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo and Just Cookies would save thousands of gallons of water and square feet of land, accomplishments that should not be understated given the current developments in our understanding of climate change and the degradation of our planet.

With so many great sustainability initiatives having been started at USC, the nearly undetectable switch to different products seems to align perfectly with our values. Knowing our student population and progressive Hospitality Department, I have no doubt that a partnership with Hampton Creek lies in our future.


Kristin Butts

MPA Candidate, 2017

USC Sol Price School of Public Policy