Student - September 15, 2011

Meatless Monday goes global

Bright young thinkers from all over the world came together during the first weekend in September to talk about creating a better world. The five students behind Meatless Monday were among those who presented their ideas at the One Young World congress in Zurich.

The Meatless Monday team with Jamie Oliver.
Perhaps you already know about Meatless Monday, having seen the outsized yellow chicken that ran through the Forum to encourage people to eat less meat. 'Eating meat is very inefficient and really quite bad for the environment. We wanted to make people aware of that', is how Luke van der Windt sums up the initiative.
The third-year student of Plant Sciences returned from the conference full of enthusiasm. 'It was terribly exciting presenting our ideas to 1,500 people. But above all, I found it inspiring.' Among the speakers was a Colombian woman who is trying to grow vegetables on the roof of a primary school. Her first harvest was a failure, but she didn't give up. She sought collaboration with people who had been more successful. There was plenty of interest in the Wageningen initiative as well. 'Universities on the Bahamas and the Philippines are going to introduce Meatless Monday too.'
A nice aspect of attending the conference was the chance to meet prominent speakers behind the scenes. One of these was TV cook Jamie Oliver. The Meatless Monday project is over now, as the students are busy with their studies. They do still publish vegetarian recipes on Facebook though. Luke reckons they have reached several thousand people. 'More than 2,000 hits on Youtube, a lot of people when we were flyering, and another 1,500 at the conference.'