Incorporating VegetarianMeals on College Campuses
P H Y S I C I A N S C O M M I T T E E F O R R E S P O N S I B L E M E D I C I N E
5 1 0 0 W I S C O N S I N A V E., N. W., S U I T E 4 0 0 • W A S H I N G T O N, D C 2 0 0 1 6P H O N E ( 2 0 2 ) 6 8 6 - 2 2 1 0 • F A X ( 2 0 2 ) 6 8 6 - 2 2 1 6 • P C R M @ P C R M . O R G • W W W . P C R M . O R G
ery often, students living on college and university cam-puses are required to purchase a set meal plan
whichmay not include enough variety to meet the needs of vegans. However, students can work to improve plant-basedfood options offered on their campus. This is easier than youmay imagine. Food service managers are happy to expandtheir offerings, so long as they know students will eat whatthey serve. Here are some tips to get you started.
Working with the Dining Facilities Department
Become active in the campus Food Service Committee
If your campus does not have such a committee, suggestit form one. This is an excellent way to bridge the gapbetween food service personnel and students.•
Whether or not you are on the committee, work to getstudents to sign onto an open letter requesting more veganoptions in the dining facilities.
The more student support you have, the better your chances of getting more veganmeals into the dining halls.•
Schedule a meeting with the school dietitian and/or foodservice director in charge of ordering food for the dininghalls.
Provide a written copy of your interests, includingthe petition and copies of PCRM’s
Vegetarian Starter Kit for Restaurants
. Both are great resources,which include tips for modifying recipes. Invite a regis-tered dietitian to speak to the food service staff and to thestudents on campus. Many campus food service facilitiesalso employ registered dietitians, and they may be morereceptive to information on vegetarian diets coming fromone of their peers.•
Give the director a copy of the attached list of companiesthat produce vegan food products.
This will get the di-rector started in the right direction and be of assistance tohim or her when contacting the food distributor. Com-panies, such as Marriott or Aramark, supply food on mostcollege campuses and respond to suggestions that boostprots.•
Provide simple, cost-effective suggestions for offeringplant-based options.
Give the director a list of currentfood options that can be easily modified and that allstudents would enjoy. The
Vegetarian Starter Kit for Res-taurants
includes many helpful tips for modifyingrecipes. For example, if your cafeteria offers pasta with ameat sauce, suggest that it offer pasta with a marinara sauceor vegetable pizza without the cheese instead of traditionalcheese pizza.•
Work with the food service director to promote the new vegan options in the school newspaper and food servicecircular.
Remember, the more vegan meals students eat,the more likely the food service department will continueto make these foods available.•
Work with the dining halls to label all vegan foods withingredient information and designate an icon that clearlyidenties vegan items, such as a green circle.
Some collegesoffer vegan meals only upon request. In this case, suggestthat the food service department publicize this service toinform other interested students of this accommodation.•
Set up an information table at the dining hall duringpeak hours to distribute information on vegetarianism.
Coordinate this event with the food service department,requesting they highlight vegan options on the menu andoffer food samples of vegetarian products to studentsentering the dining hall. Provide
postcards for studentsto sign that support your request for vegan options andsubmit them to the food service director.•
Work with the food service department to celebrate WorldVegetarian Day (October 1) and the Great American Me-atout (March 20).
The school newspaper and food servicecircular should publicize these events. Dining halls couldfeature a variety of vegan foods and distribute informationon plant-based diets. Use billboards, iers, and literatureprovided by PCRM and/or other groups for publicity.
Working outside of the Dining Halls
Offer to provide the campus health center with literatureon the connection between a plant-based diet and a re-duced risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and otherdiseases.
Contact PCRM for complimentary copies of ourreproducible fact sheets.•
Put together information packets on plant-based dietsfor rst-year orientation.
Include a list of vegetarian/vegan-friendly restaurants and stores near campus. Includeinformation about animal-friendly organizations on campusand the availability of vegan options in the campus diningfacilities.•
Schedule a movie night or arrange for a speaker to lectureon campus.
Reserve or rent a room on campus to showmovies or have someone speak on vegetarianism. Providefree, vegan food samples and distribute literature on the