January has come and gone, along with our trial of Meat Free Monday, which took place in over 30 outlets across 4 campuses, including all College and Union outlets plus Pieminister and Silwood catering. It was student campaign created from a combination of ideas that came from different undergraduate societies, PhD students, and Masters student groups, with the help of many volunteers, Greening Imperial, College Catering and the Union.
So, what happens next? Will Meat Free Monday continue?
We gave YOU the choice. With stalls and events occurring weekly, flyers and posters being handed out, and a webpage full of information, we tried to inform you as much as possible why we did Meat Free Monday. There was a buzz online, as well as articles written by you in Felix, but overall the decision came down to the online survey results and instagram polls you voted on.
With 523 people taking part in the survey (69.9% of which stated they were meat eaters), 57.7% of you wished for it to continue, while 40.0% did not and the remainder were impartial. However, the instagram polls of 200 voters swung the other way, with 53.9% wishing it not to continue. With no clear winner, it was hard to decide whether to turn the Meat Free Monday trial into a permanent campaign or not. What did stand out in the survey, was the demand for more information about the environmental sustainability of the food options, as 84.7% of students considered the impact of their diet on the environment. Furthermore, talking to students highlighted concerns about the lack of options regularly on campus for veggie and vegan dishes, and as well as a lack of healthy dishes that had a wide variety.
With all this information, the College Catering service and I have decided not to continue Meat Free Monday, but instead shift our focus for the remainder of the year to providing a wider range of healthier options (meat and plant based) on campus!
Ideas so far have included moving the College Cafe hot sandwiches to the JCR, while also adding a salad bar and a rotisserie chicken stand, introducing a plant-based cafe on campus which is also fully sustainable and could be a new place for students to enjoy and relax in, and introduce a pasta cafe on campus! So far, I have visited lots of plant-based restaurants with College to gain inspiration on food options, service structures, and room layouts. Stay tuned in the next few months for updates!
Some pictures from my recent visit around london!
And as always, any questions, send me an email! Or comment on this blog post below!