It's About To Get Much Easier To Eat Plant-Based In College Dining Halls

According to a study published by College Pulse, nearly 14% of college students followed plant-based diets. Of those who follow vegetarian or vegan diets, 31% were primarily concerned about the environmental impacts of the meat and dairy industries. Other survey respondents cited their own health, animal rights, and having grown up following meatless diets. With increasing options for plant-based diets in recent years — like the popularity of Impossible and Beyond Meats, and a wide range of non-dairy milk available at grocery stores — it is easier than ever to eat plant-based diets.

While many dining halls do offer vegan and vegetarian meal options, according to LIVEKINDLY, options may be limited, and it can be easy to get burnt out by eating the same things every day. Students who live on campus often purchase a meal plan to eat in the dining halls, and that money could be wasted if vegan students are forced to eat somewhere else with more vegan options. Thankfully, according to BusinessWire, Aramark is now working with 250 colleges and universities to provide more plant-based options in dining halls.

Students will have more plant-based options

Aramark, which is the largest U.S.-based food service provider, has announced that it will be increasing efforts to offer plant-based dining options at over 250 colleges and universities across the country (via BusinessWire). The company's goal is to have 44% of its offerings be plant-based by 2025. The company's announcement comes after having worked with the Humane Society of the United States for 15 years on efforts to reduce harmful climate change impacts. On Aramark's website, the company previously announced a commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030. The food service provider also offers "Cool Food Meals," which have a lower carbon footprint during their creation and are more plant-based than its other offerings.

Currently, Aramark's menus offer 26-30% plant-based options across its offerings. To prepare for the change, Aramark has announced that it will increase training for dining staff, amplify its marketing, release a report on its progress annually, and work to add even more plant-based options to college dining halls in the future through recipes and menu concepts.