Leon Borgdorf (24), student Philosophy of Science, Technology, & Society, wants to encourage the UT to provide more and easily available vegetarian and vegan food options. ‘As someone who follows a plant-based diet, I have struggled many times to find something to eat on campus, and I am surely not the only one,’ he claims. ‘Some cafeterias on campus provide only a few vegetarian options, let alone nearly no vegan options. When I spend busy days on campus and want to grab something to eat, I would like a more nutritious plant-based meal option, as opposed to a banana, for example.’
Borgdorf thinks that the current way the UT serves food is highly contradictory to its sustainability ideal. ‘The TechMed Centre currently has a new facility that serves plant-based food options, but I am not convinced that that is enough,’ says Borgdorf. ‘In my opinion, it would be both more sustainable and more inclusive to have every cafeteria and facility on campus make plant-based options more available and commonplace.’
How that could be achieved? ‘For example, by offering at least one vegan dish every day, by organizing a fully veggie-day once a week, or by making plant-based milk the standard for coffee machines, to name a few,’ says Borgdorf. ‘This may help us vegetarians and vegans out there, but may also encourage other people to become more environmentally conscious about their food intake, or even help people who are lactose intolerant, for example. An international university like the UT should be inclusive, and this could be a step in that direction.’
Ultimately, the main motives behind the petition are to spread awareness and to propose alternatives that the UT could possibly implement in the future. ‘The petition already provides some vegetarian- and vegan-friendly suggestions that the university may utilize,’ says Borgdorf. ‘Other universities in the Netherlands, Wageningen and Delft for example, already have a better food plan implemented at their universities, of which I took some inspiration from. I hope that, by means of this petition, the UT will become more aware of the need for more sustainable and plant-based food options on campus.’
In case you are interested in signing the petition, it is available through this link. Note: you need to provide an s-number or m-number to be able to sign!