THE UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND AND HUMANE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL-AFRICA
LAUNCH INNOVATIVE NEW GREEN MENU AT ALL DINING HALLS
The University of Witwatersrand (WITS) has launched an innovative new Green menu, offering 23 delicious plant-based dishes in all six of its residence dining halls as part of Humane Society International-Africa’s (HSI-Africa) Green Monday South Africa (Green Monday SA) program. One dining hall, the Green Hub, is the first dining hall in Africa to offer 100 percent plant-based dishes only, for breakfast, lunch and dinner every Monday.
Green Monday is a global initiative supported by Humane Society International (HSI), one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world. The program encourages people to make a positive difference to their health and the environment by swapping meat, milk and eggs for entirely plant-based meals at least one day a week. WITS is the second university in Africa to implement such a program. Culinary staff participated in a number of food tastings and chef training implemented by Humane Society International-Africa, all at no cost to the university.
“Our students are always asking for new dishes and they truly care about the world around them. This program is so exciting, and the dishes are delicious! We are pleased to be working with HSI-Africa, offering students healthier and more sustainable meal options on a daily basis”, said Bontle Mogapi, Operations Manager – Catering, University of the Witwatersrand.
Some of the new dishes include: Baked Mexican Enchiladas, Mediterranean Pasta Primavera, Creamy African Peanut Stew, Butter Bean Scramble, Red Lentil and Cauliflower Curry Roti’s and Cape Malay Bobotie. The dishes rely heavily on local ingredients and are less expensive and more sustainable than similar dishes using animal products. For instance, the “water footprint” of meat, milk or eggs is substantially more than for plant-based foods, based on the amount of water needed to grow feed for the animals to eat. With beef, for example, it takes over 15,000 litres of water to produce a single kilogram of meat.
“Eating more green meals can really make a difference to our environment and our nation’s health. It also reduces the number of animals being raised on large-scale industrial farms where there are often significant welfare problems,” said Leozette Roode, Media and Outreach Manager for HSI-Africa. “We are so excited to implement our second Green Monday SA program at one of Africa’s largest universities and we look forward to continuing working with WITS, its staff and students on this historic program.”
HSI-Africa works with governments, farmers and other stakeholders in the egg, meat and dairy sectors to end the extreme confinement of animals in cages and crates, and improve the overall welfare of farm animals. We can all stand up for animals every time we sit down to eat by reducing the number of animal products we consume, replacing them with plant-based products or animal products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards.