Plant-Based and Late-Night: Making The Beach’s food more accessible, healthy, and inclusive

Reducetarian“, “Flexetarian“, “Plant-Forward“, “Meatless Monday”– whatever you call it, there is a growing movement across the United States (and around the world!) to eat less meat. A recent study in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that 2/3 of people reported eating less of at least one type of meat, so it was no surprise to see lots of people advocating for more delicious, more affordable vegetarian and vegan options on campus:

Let’s move towards a greener campus with more vegetarian/vegan options #gogreenbeach!

 We should look into expanding our USU and opening more eating options that are healthy. Some vegetarian options should be available in order to reduce the amount of meat we consume because it harms the environment. As college students, we need nutrients every day! There should be more vegetarian/vegan options for students on campus. The options that are available are often half meals that are either equally as expensive or even more costly. #studentwellbeing

I am excited to know that we are becoming more sustainable. In 2030, the food that the school serves can be sustainably sourced & having more vegetarian options will reduce the schools impact on greenhouse gasses. Transforming parking lots to gardens would be an awesome effect

Aligning with CSULB’s sustainability and student wellbeing goals were the primary benefits cited for this change. Researchers at Oxford University have now suggested that “climate change cannot be sufficiently mitigated without dietary changes towards more plant-based diets.” So what might that look like at CSULB?

There are a number of great resources already developed to help large food service providers transition to more plant-foward menus. For example, the Menus of Change initiative from the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public health. The plant-forward menu approach at CSULB could be twofold: work with the campus’s existing residential dining and catering providers, as well as encourage new forms of smaller-scale entrepreneurship. (There is a great blog post highlighting some of the ideas related to creating space for growing food on campus here! )

A recent report from GrubHub, found that vegan food deliveries rose 19% over the past year, and the growing demand is being met by a variety of startups with plant-based meal-kit and meal-delivery options. Drawing on this growing popularity of meal-prep / meal-kit companies, player Betsy suggested campus dining meal-prep boxes, to which player Bo responded with the idea for those meal boxes to be personalized to health and aligned with learning objectives or climate action goals.

And for students who don’t have kitchens, they might be able to prepare their meal kits in one of these repurposed-parking-lot spaces imagined by Laura:

Let’s move towards a greener campus with more vegetarian/vegan options #gogreenbeach!

We know that creating vibrant student life on campus revolves around food. Making those food options reflect campus culture, student diversity, and local entrepreneurs could be a great way to strengthen that.

https://www.imaginebeach2030.org/card/11661

 

I would love to see a revamped and more unique dining plaza, with local run businesses. While chain restaurants are nice, we need healthier, more affordable and more sustainable food options. Think of the Anaheim packing house. That’s what I envision.

But even if there are tons of healthy, plant-forward, delicious food options – many people are asking for them to extend hours of operation to nights and weekends in order to make the campus a more thriving place.

 

Keep restaurants on campus open longer and over the weekend to boost student involvement /student life. + response - Restaurants being open would help our students who come directly from work to take classes at night.Restaurants on campus should be open regular hours during the weekends. It will make it easier for freshman who dorm and don't have cars to eat somewhere besides the dining hall.For the students that live on campus, this is their home, and we should make sure there are ample facilities and dining options for them to feel safe and secure, and be able to socialize and feel part of a real community all week long; day and night.

One way to justify the late-night hours? Make the restaurants highly sought after destinations for everyone in Long Beach and attract top chefs (who focus on plant-based menus, of course!)

Maybe we can invite the community to dine in these world-class restaurants during the weekends, which would justify the additional hours. Could we attract top chefs to open up here? This could also be a revenue booster.