From 11 to 17 March Wageningen University & Research will participate in the National Week Without Meat. During this week there will be a lot of extra vegetarian dishes on the menu of the WUR restaurants. But inveterate meat eaters needn’t worry: dishes with meat will also be available.
In the Week Without Meat, WUR staff and students will be invited to forgo meat and try some vegetarian alternatives. The week is also the opportunity for the university to bundle its knowledge about the relation between meat consumption and a healthy, sustainable eating pattern and to share this on wur.nl, said Inge Buitink, communication advisor at Facility Services. “In this way, we’re contributing to more awareness and more knowledge about the theme of meat.”
Master’s student Nutrition and Health Tele Boit, who has been a vegetarian for more than two years, thinks that the Week Without Meat is a good initiative. “Plant-based foods have a lot of nutritional benefits and this also promotes sustainability,” said Boit. In the Student Cooking Corner in Forum, she’s going to sell a typical Kenyan dish: Chapati, which is “a flatbread (a sort of durum or wrap, ed.) made of wheat flour with an accompaniment of bean stew in coconut sauce. I am cooking this to portray our rich authentic Kenyan culture through our traditional food.”
This is the first time that Boit is taking part in Student Cooking, a concept in which students buy their own ingredients, prepare dishes and then sell them in the restaurant in Forum. Cooking for large groups of people isn’t a challenge for Boit. “In the African culture cooking for the entire extended family is seen as a way of creating memories and bonding, so I tend to cook for a large amount of people often. You can try her Chapati in Forum during Wednesday’s lunch break.
The hip Vegetarian
The National Week Without Meat is an initiative of Isabel Boerdam, known from her blog and book ‘De Hippe Vegetariër’ [The Hip Vegetarian]. Various supermarkets and companies in the food sector are going to participate. According to the campaign week’s website, an adult saves 130 litres of water, 76 kilometres of driving and 770 grams of animal meat if you don’t eat meat for a week. With more than 42,300 participants (the number registered at the moment of writing), that means that almost 5.5 million litres of water, about 3.2 million driven kilometres and more than 32,500 kilos of animal meat will be saved.