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Residence hall cafeterias to feature different vegan burger options the week of April 16


Infographic courtesy of Campus Dining District Marketing Manager Nikki Smith.

All Central Michigan University dining halls will "Make the Flip" to flavor-themed black bean burgers from 4:30-8 p.m. on April 16-20 to promote healthy and sustainable eating. 

"Our goal is to provide an acceptable menu of burgers alternatives to encourage students to try something more plant forward than they may be used to," said Campus Dining District Marketing Manager Nikki Smith.

Smith said it takes 100 times more water to produce one kilogram of animal protein versus the amount to produce one kilogram of plant protein.

"In addition to the health benefits of plant proteins, it’s good for the environment since producing meat generally requires more water, land, and energy resources," she said. 

Smith said the residential restaurants will be providing these vegan options at the American Diner station. The continuance or disposal of similar features in the future will be determined by trends and student feedback. 

Residential restaurants will feature the following black bean burgers:

  • "Mexican" — April 16
  • "Greek" — April 17
  • "Corner Diner" — April 18
  • "Cool Sriracha" — April 19
  • "Cowboy" — April 20

Student Environmental Alliance Vice President Janel Sweeney works at one of the residential restaurants on campus, Fresh, and said the themed week will help students who want to have a more plant-based diet but don't like the available choices.

"As someone who still eats meat, I think that having different options other than the usual is a great step in appealing to different food preferences," she said. 

Students Advocating for Vegetarianism/Veganism President Sarah Merrifield agrees, but thinks more should be done.

"To create a large impact, (residential restaurants) need to do it for more than one week," she said. "College students are open to learning, so this is a critical age to be exposed to the truths of animal agriculture. We work to share the information about its repercussions because it isn't readily available."

She also said the cafeterias have been increasing their vegan options, but students feel the residential restaurants fall short in their commitment to offering plant-based foods. 

All other residential restaurant stations will be offering regular options, Smith said.