Skip to main content

Western U plans to make 40 per cent of menu items in residences plant-based by 2024


Over the next two days chefs at Western University will be trained to create sustainable plant-based dishes to offer students in the future.

Canada’s Forward Food program is training chef participants at Western and three other universities with plant-based culinary training

“It gives us a new palate in terms of creativity to expand our repertoire,” said Kristian Crossen, executive chef of Western Food Services.

The university’s goal is to offer plant-based options for 40 per cent of menu items served in its residence dining halls by January 2024.

“We’re focusing on plant-based cuisines so whole foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes, and good quality plant-based proteins,” said Amy Symington, with Forward Food.

Symington said there has been an increased demand in plant-based cuisine especially with younger generations who are looking for more food options in post-secondary institutions.

“The research is there in terms of sustainability. The lower we eat on the food chain the better it is for our environment but also for our health and animal welfare as well,” she explained.

Forward Food is a free program by Humane Society International/Canada and Friends of Humane Society International. The global initiative has helped companies learn how to cook and create their own plant-based food options.

“It’s a huge shift at Western,” said Colin Porter, director of hospitality services at Western. Porter explained that students have been asking for more healthy options, which is why their goal is to increase the amount of plant-based foods by 50 per cent in 2025.

He added, “The traditional brands won’t go away, but it’s about providing a variety of choice to our wider campus community.” Top Stories

Stay Connected