The Edge to offer plant-based meal replacement on April 20

The Edge to offer plant-based meal replacement on April 20

On Thursday, April 20, The Edge is offering students a plant-based meal alternative. Three Auburn sustainability capstone students have worked with The Edge throughout the semester to bring this option to students in honor of Earth Week.

The meal will be served at Urban Kitchen in The Edge from 11 am to 2:30 pm and it will consist of eggplant meatballs, roasted bell peppers and asparagus mushroom risotto.

“Throughout the semester we’ve been working to plan this event. We have done research when it comes to the environmental health and the economic impacts of eating more plant-based and then compiled that research to work with The Edge to figure out a menu that is plant-based,” Grace Reilein, senior in sustainability, said.

Reilein and her classmates are hoping to use this meal as an opportunity to teach people about how their food choices affect the environment.

“We plan to have big posters around talking about the carbon emissions, water usage and land usage that are associated with eating meat. We want to show the benefits of switching from a heavy meat-based diet to a little bit more of a plant-based one,” Eleanor Creswell, senior in sustainability, said.

The posters, the students said, are not to convince people to switch to a no-meat diet. Emory Morgan, senior in sustainability, clarified what they meant by plant-based.

“People think that plant-based means only eating plants all day every day, but we’re just encouraging more of a plant-forward approach,” Morgan said.

Auburn has already adapted various eco-friendly growth practices, including two freight container gardens and vertical gardens that grow leafy greens. The Edge uses these vegetables for the salad bar, a food option which Morgan said will be available during their meal. While the university provides options for students to incorporate plants into their meals, Reilein argues that it is important to educate people on how their food choices impact the environment.

“There’s a huge gap between the amount of emissions produced by raising cattle versus chicken or pork. And so even just making the switch from that type of meat to a less impactful meat makes a big difference. Like Eleanor and Emory said, plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean vegan or vegetarian. It is just an emphasis on including more plants in your diet because they have a lower environmental impact,” Reilein said. And it’s better for you to incorporate more plants instead of relying on meat, cheese and things like that.

Other groups in their sustainability course have conducted different projects throughout the semester, but Reilein and her group believe it is important for them to have their meal as close to Earth Day as possible. They worked with Tiger Dining and the Plant Based Plainsman to get in contact with Aramark, the university’s dining partner.

“They were very open to letting us have the event on that day and time. They worked with us to create the menu, and we think it’s going to be really good,” Reilein said.

While the students hope to have a great meal for people looking to incorporate plants into their diet, their main goal is to make people more aware of their food choices in general.

Davis Brasfield | News Writer

Davis Brasfield, senior in psychology, is a news writer at The Auburn Plainsman.

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