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New loyalty scheme launched to help students and staff eat less meat

Picture Credit: Friends of the Earth

The University has teamed up with Friends of the Earth to pilot a new loyalty scheme to encourage students and staff to eat less meat and more veg.

KALE YEAH! rewards students and staff with a free meal for every 6 veggie or vegan meals purchased in our University cafes.

Students and staff just need to scan their ID cards at the counter to log their loyalty points digitally.

Friends of the Earth is using the pilot to investigate whether a loyalty scheme can lead to a lower meat diet, which is better for the planet, our pockets and our health. A recent NUS survey revealed that 72% of 2259 students surveyed eat meat either most days or every day.

University chefs have been on a training course focused on creating delicious plant-based meals to offer more quality vegetarian and vegan options.

The results of the pilot will be analysed at the end of the Autumn term , and if successful the loyalty scheme could be launched at other universities.

Picture Credit: Friends of the Earth

Head of Catering at the University, Nick Leach, has been working with Friends of the Earth on developing the scheme: “Nothing focuses customers’ attention more than when there’s a reward at the end. This is about offering a carrot, rather than a stick.

“People want to know where their food comes from and that it’s good for them. They want to know how the animals were treated and that we’re cutting down on plastic. We have to be responsible for what we offer customers. Caterers must wise up to the fact that tastes and times are changing. There is no plan B for the planet.”

Clare Oxborrow, senior sustainability advisor at Friends of the Earth, said: “There is a growing consensus that we need to reduce the amount of meat we eat – for the planet, for farm animal welfare and for our health. But anyone who’s tried a new diet or exercise regime know it’s not always easy to change ingrained habits.

“KALE YEAH! offers an easy way for students to try delicious meat-free meals, whilst saving money. We’re delighted to be working with University of Portsmouth and look forward to seeing how the scheme goes down, and whether ultimately it helps students embrace less and better meat eating habits.”

Rachel Stone, choosing a veggie sandwich at a university cafe, said: “It’s a great idea. Sustainability is such a key issue these days and it’s good that people have a lot more veggie and vegan options to choose from.”

9 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Student Alex Harvey’s company has a wonderful mission:

    “Our mission is to change the way that students eat while they’re at university. We provide recipes, resources and products which are designed to get more young people into the kitchen”.

    Check out his website for simple and healthy and affordable recipes and food kits to go.

  2. I’m not sure this is something that I fully support. Yes, it good to encourage healthy eating etc but meat is a good source of protein. By teaming up with Friends of the Earth could potentially upset farmers and butchers. I’m personally not a big meat eater myself however I believe a varied diet is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I told my son who is at another university about this pilot study and he was outraged that any univeristy would sign up to this. By all means promote more veg but don’t encourage removing part of a stable diet.

    • They are not telling people to stop eating meat altogether. The article states that the scheme is to encourage people to eat ‘less’ meat. I fully encourage this and I am a meat eater. However, I make an effort to have meat free days, Everyone should be making an active choice to do this because it’s the single biggest thing you can do to reduce your environmental impact on our precious planet.

    • There are plenty of ways to get good quality protein from plant-based meals alone – it’s about educating yourself about the food you eat. I’m not vegan however a couple of meat/dairy free days a week is good for your health and the planet.

      Unfortunately, most of the population have been brainwashed into thinking meat is the only source of protein out there and without it, they’ll fade away – not true at all. So this promotion is good education for both staff and students. Good for the pocket and good for the environment.

  3. Whilst this is a great idea, it is a shame that the uni doesn’t include any vegan sandwiches in their cheaper meal deals rather than the more expensive ones. I am vegetarian who tries to eat vegan at least 4 days a week, but given the lack of reasonably priced vegan options within the sandwich section, I will go to Coop or Tesco over the uni cafes.

    • Hi Laura,

      We do have Vegan sandwiches in the meal deal range we have a humus & peppers with red onion sandwich, coded B and a humus & roasted vegetable sandwich coded C so both these fall into the meal deal range. Obviously not knowing which area of campus you frequent, The Hub also has Hubway by which you can get a half roll meal deal for £3.30 with vegan options you choose yourself, including vegan cheese if you wish. The Hub also has a vegan daily special everyday if you ever fancy something more substantial and offer vegan cheese so you can have toasted sandwiches, jacket potatoes etc if you would like something hot too. Together with a sweet potato burrito which is also vegan and we do vegan sausage rolls too.

      We also have an online ordering system if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to queue via our Face book page using the “shop now”. I have included the link for you. I hope this helps

      Andrea – The Hub

  4. This is a brilliant initiative. Well done UoP.

  5. Well said Rachel Stone: “It’s a great idea. Sustainability is such a key issue these days and it’s good that people have a lot more veggie and vegan options to choose from.”

    not to mention global warming and all the rest of it…. it is a no brainer not to support this.

  6. Excellent scheme. Not only healthy, but also fighting global warming 🙂

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