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Plant-Based Week Case study: University of Winchester

16th May 2023 - 09:51
Winchester University demonstrated how creating menus with more plant-based dishes enabled them to reduce their food related carbon footprint by 39%.

The university launched an initiative which involves people buying six plant-based meals and then getting the seventh for free (the seventh meal can be a meat-based option). The scheme aims to encourage students and staff to buy alternative food that is better for the planet.

Although this is a case study from 2022 it still showcases relevant lessons for public sector caterers on how to introduce more plant-based options onto your menus.

Simon Billing, executive director of Eating Better, commented: “The University of Winchester are a beacon of sustainable eating with a fantastic menu with lots of vegetables [as well as] ‘less and better’ meat. I’ve walked here from the station, I’ve walked passed the hospital, care home and prison. These are institutions that feed thousands of people every day. This is the opportunity for where the public sector can really lead and demonstrate eating better.

“We think it’s about rebalancing the plate, about a different position for meat. About meat being something special, a garnish on the plate versus the centre of the plate and filling that plate full of vegetables and plant-based proteins that are just great for your health, great for your gut and great for the planet.

“We think that every organisation should have a sustainable food strategy that puts ‘less and better’ eating very central to that. And then there are lots of ways of delivering that: more vegetarian and vegan options throughout the week, less meat within the dishes, more focus around ‘better’ meat and local sourcing.”

The 2023 edition of Plant-Based Week will once again encourage caterers in schools, hospitals, care homes, universities, prisons and the military to include and promote more plant-based dishes across their menus. 

Written by
Edward Waddell