University of Connecticut Dining Services recently sent out a survey regarding plans for a plant-based café on campus. After receiving over 3,000 responses from students, the goal is to open the café during the Fall 2021 semester.
This idea of a plant-based café is good for many reasons; many students with dietary restrictions will benefit immensely from having more choices and plant-based options are better for the environment, but not always available for everyone.
For many students at UConn, especially those who are vegetarian or vegan, dining options are rather limited. Creating a café, with feedback from students, that only has plant-based options will immensely benefit plant-based students.
Additionally, numerous studies have shown that plant-based food is better for the environment, as it takes less water to produce, and due to the fact that the production of animal products contributes greatly to greenhouse gas emissions. However, plant-based food can be expensive and not very accessible, especially for college students. This plant-based café — since it will be on-campus — will be accessible for students. It will also promote a healthier, more environmentally-friendly diet.
Specifically at UConn as well, plans indicate that the café will support local agriculture, including the student-run Spring Valley Farm. This once again promotes more environmentally-friendly practices because it reduces the number of miles needed to travel for products, thus reducing the carbon footprint from this aspect.
Furthermore, Dining Services plans to get feedback from students. In the survey, over 1,000 students indicated that they would be interested in assisting with the café. By getting feedback from students, Dining Services will be able to better understand what students want and properly implement this.
For these reasons, the idea of having a plant-based café on campus will be beneficial to many students. We, at The Daily Campus, applaud Dining Services for this idea; in thyme, we can add the opening of this café to our kale-ndars!