On Tuesday 13th June, LMH will take part in the fifth annual Switch Up Your Lunch veg pledge campaign. Switch Up Your Lunch will see schools, businesses, universities, councils and organisations all over Oxfordshire switch their lunch to either a vegetarian or vegan meal, to benefit human and planetary health.
At lunchtime on the 13th June, LMH has pledged to serve only vegetarian or vegan meals in our Dining Hall, and will encourage remote workers and College members who are off-site to take part too.
This pledge fits with LMH’s wider goals to reduce the environmental impact of our food through adapting menus, thinking about sourcing and production and by raising awareness of how personal diet choices affect health and the environment. With input and support from our students, we estimate that our menu options mean that students are already eating around 50% plant-based meals, and we have built relationships with a range of hyper-local suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of the food we serve. In the longer term, our targets are to halve carbon emissions, estimated land use and biodiversity impact on our 2019 baseline by 2035.
By switching our diet to mostly plant-based meals, and reducing our dairy and meat intake, individuals can drastically reduce their carbon emissions. In fact, a recent study suggests that the carbon emissions of vegetarian diets are 59% lower than those of meat eaters. The Switch Up Your Lunch campaign aims to raise awareness of the environmental and health benefits of reduced meat consumption, and to support organisations to make longer-term changes to their meal offerings.
LMH Domestic Bursar Bart Ashton is enthusiastic about the initiative, which the College has supported since its inception five years ago: “Switch Up Your Lunch is a great way of getting everyone in our college to consider the future of our food and everyone can be involved. The college and its community care about the wider environmental impact of its meals: greenhouse gasses, biodiversity reduction, land and water use. Students back this up with their menu choices: the majority of LMH student meals sold are plant based already and we avoid providing meat dishes completely once every week. The chance to connect with people across the county on 13th June is a great opportunity to see what a difference we can make if we all act together. Personal choices matter, so #SwitchUpYourLunch.”