University opens first meat-free cafe

The cafe, in the Richard Doll Building, focuses on sustainability, so moving to vegetarian food is a natural step as producing meat generally does more environmental harm than producing an equivalent amount of plant-based food. For example, a 2018 paper in Nature, with researchers from the department among its authors, suggested that moving to a mainly vegetarian diet could reduce the global food system’s greenhouse gas emissions by around half. These emissions reductions could be vital in helping the University to meet its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions and a net gain in biodiversity by the middle of the century.

‘The opening of a vegetarian and vegan cafe in the Richard Doll building is exciting news showing the University applying its own research in a very tangible way,’ said Harriet Waters, Head of Environmental Sustainability. ‘As we are currently consulting on an ambition to become net zero carbon and show net biodiversity gain, changing our food habits will have a key role to play in our future work.’

The cafe is run by Compass, the University’s preferred catering supplier under a contract managed by the Facilities Management team, and is open to all staff at Old Road. The revamped menu will range from full English vegetarian breakfasts to miso noodle broth and main courses like vegan spiced pulled oats and seitan cottage pie.