Meatless Monday is catching on across college campuses.
David George, the director of food services at Syracuse University has been working to bring Meatless Mondays to the school’s 19,600 students. He recently spoke about how this initiative promotes a healthy lifestyle while highlighting the department’s extensive plant-based offerings.
What was involved with implementing the program?
We displayed Meatless Monday information in our dining centers and instituted a “Try Me!” program that introduces a new grain, fruit or vegetable. We’ve also prepared new items such as four-bean casserole, couscous and feta salad, mushroom quiche, barbecue tempeh, sweet potato bake, almond curry couscous and vegetable enchiladas.
What were some of the biggest challenges involved with implementing the program?
One challenge was getting students to understand that Meatless Monday isn’t just for vegetarians or vegans. Everyone can reap the health benefits of incorporating more plant-based foods into his or her diet!
What advice would you give to other operators who might want to do something similar?
Make your educational efforts interactive. In addition to posting our “Try Me!” posters, we created recipes using the featured item and highlight those in the dining centers. When we develop our Meatless Monday ideas we ask students for their opinions through surveys, so they can let us know what they think of an item and what items they’d like to see in the future.