For the seventh time, PETA has surveyed university canteens nationwide on various aspects of veganism. Based on the responses of the 41 participating student unions, awards were given in terms of gastronomic stars, and the most vegan-friendly canteens in 2023 were crowned.
The “Mensa Pasteria TU Veggie 2.0 – the vegan cafeteria” has only vegan offers. Around 500 portions of food in the form of 9 to 12 vegan dishes are served daily. In addition to the main dishes, starters, soups, salads with various dressings and desserts are also available. Vegan dishes are also offered in the other canteens of the Studierendenwerk Berlin. There is also a vegan-vegetarian canteen.
Vegan offer is constantly increasing
It was found that almost all of the participating canteens have at least one purely plant-based dish on offer every day, usually even more. Most of them also have vegan starters and desserts. Some student unions offer cooking courses and competitions to make vegan nutrition palatable to students. Many organize employee training and action weeks, mostly on the annual World Vegan Day on November 1st or during Veganuary.
Some canteens were able to get one more star compared to 2019. But there were also participants who were not on the list in 2019, demonstrating that vegan nutrition has arrived in mainstream society. A study published in 2023 concluded that when plant-based dishes are offered as a standard option in university canteens and dishes with animal products only on request, the vegan meal is chosen by almost 82 percent of college students.
“Anyone who chooses vegan dishes can prevent animal suffering in a simple and healthy way and at the same time do something good for the environment, humanity and one’s own health,” says Ilana Bollag, climate and nutrition specialist at PETA. “Plant-based dining addresses the nutritional needs and desires of many who reject animal products, whether for ethical, religious, environmental or health reasons. We are very pleased that the German student unions are responding to the demand and are continuously and creatively expanding their vegan offerings.”