The University should reduce the amount of red meat being sold on campus

Passed: November 2019 (19th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

According to UN research, having a plant-based diet can help us fight climate change. Farming red meat such as beef, lamb and pork are especially bad for greenhouse emissions, as lots of methane gas is released throughout the lifetime of these animals. In the UK, 58% of agricultural emissions come from farming beef and lamb. Globally, methane from livestock accounts for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions - more than transport. Furthermore, the land and resources required to farm each kilogram of red meat is considerably greater than that needed to grow non-meat produce. The Committee on Climate Change thus recommends that a 20% cut in red meat and dairy is needed, but implies that even bigger changes could be necessary.

Significantly limiting the amount of red meat available on campus would help the university fulfil its goals with regards to the planet. On the university’s food outlet website, the sustainability section claims that Leeds intends to ‘follow a strict food policy which ensures ethical, sustainable procurement of all food.’ Replacing many of the red meat options on campus with vegetarian and poultry options would help the university achieve these aims. This is an amazing first step for the university to take in terms of making its food outlets more environmentally-friendly, as well as showing that the university is responsive to mass student climate movements and recent news coverage. Given that our government has declared us to be in a climate emergency, it is important that the university and union take a stand to ensure we are part of the national effort to stop the Earth’s temperature from rising to dangerous levels.

The move could be branded as shifting the university to a more ‘climatarian’ or plant-based diet. We can join the many universities, such as Goldsmiths and Sheffield, who are making important steps to limit their environmental impact.

The idea would benefit the students of Leeds in many ways. According to the NHS, limiting our red meat intake means we are less likely to suffer from bowel cancer, obesity and heart disease. Much healthier sources of protein are available, such as tofu, Quorn, pulses and white meat. Following a diet with less red meat is also a more compassionate use of the earth’s limited resources. This is because forests and natural habitats are often destroyed in order to clear land for livestock rearing. This removes natural absorbers of carbon dioxide, adding to the environmental damage. Therefore, ensuring that there is a more plant-based selection of food on offer is a really important change which will help the university become more sustainable, healthier and environmentally-friendly.

Expires: November 2022 (19th)

Submitted By: Kira Holmes Jinkinson

Officer: Union Affairs

Area of Work: Sustainability

Updates

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

May 2020: Majority of LUU Commercial staff furloughed (as well as PET), so unfortunately we are not in a position to discuss this with the University currently.

March 2020: Planned meeting with University delayed due to Covid.

January 2020: Proposer met with PET and Commercial Team at LUU, to clarify objectives and targets ahead of setting up a meeting with the University. Also received an update on some of the vegan/vegetarian options currently available across LUU venues. It was highlighted that the sales of non-dairy milks in the coffee outlets have risen to nearly 50%, and the Moving Mountains Vegan Burger is one of the most popular menu items.

Pyramid;

  • Soups – 100% vegan this year
  • Toasties – 73% of menu vegetarian, of the vegetarian options 87.5% can be made vegan

Salad Box [Now closed];

  • Bases – 100% vegetarian, 80% of the vegetarian options are vegan
  • Side options - 100% vegan
  • Deli options – 50% vegetarian, 75% of the vegetarian options are vegan
  • Garnishes – 100% vegan
  • Dressings – 100% vegetarian , 80% of the vegetarian options are vegan

Terrace;

  • 60% of the whole menu is vegetarian, of the vegetarian options 96% of the options can be made vegan

Old Bar;

  • 40% of the whole menu is vegetarian, of the vegetarian options 60% of the options are vegan

December 2019: Proposer linked up with Deputy Chief Exec (Operations) to add clarity to idea and make clear what the ask of the University is before we approach them formally.

November 2019: New Policy