plant protein CU dining hallsElevate your plate and embrace a greener, healthier lifestyle at CU Boulder! Campus Dining Services is proud to announce the launch of its new Plant Powered Protein stations in the dining halls at the Village Center and C4C. These centralized stations are offering climate-friendly protein options for students, faculty, and staff.

The introduction of these plant-powered protein stations reflects a growing global movement towards more sustainable food choices. As global awareness grows regarding the environmental impact of animal agriculture, adopting a plant-based lifestyle offers a chance to reduce our carbon footprint. CU Boulder's initiative aligns perfectly with the university's commitment to environmental stewardship and its dedication to cultivating responsible citizens of the world.

Beyond environmental benefits, the new plant-powered protein stations prioritize health and wellness. When we eat a diet consisting of whole foods and plants there is great potential for lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. By incorporating more plant-based options into daily diets, the campus community can put themselves and the planet first! See what is being served when with the Nutrislice website. 

These new stations will feature a diverse and delectable range of eco-friendly and protein-rich options that are in line with CU’s longstanding value of sustainability and existing vegan options. Located at the heart of the C4C and Village Center, the add-on stations will allow students the opportunity to create their own balanced plant-based meals from the options provided. From chickpeas to edamame and grains, choosing plant-based proteins first has never been easier. 

Plant-based eating is not about eliminating all animal products from your diet. Instead, it's about embracing a balanced approach to nutrition that includes choosing plants first. According to CU Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Lisa Whalen, a holistic approach to health is key. Lisa emphasizes the importance of a well-rounded plate. "Having lean protein, fruits, and vegetables all contribute to different aspects of health… gradually incorporating more plant-based meals into people’s diets is important.” These centralized plant-powered protein stations will allow students, faculty and staff to complement their favorite choices from other stations and build a well-rounded plate. 

Keep a look out for these signs!
 plant powered protein at CU dining hall signage   

The new stations were implemented over the summer to help students find healthy plant-proteins in one centralized spot. “We have always offered an abundance of plant forward foods.  But we wanted to have something available to customers in a centralized location, so that the items are easier to find.” In the past, these kinds of options were scattered throughout the dining halls, which made it difficult for students to find and enjoy. 

Plant-based diets have been shown to use fewer natural resources, like land and water, and emit fewer greenhouse gasses compared to traditional animal-based diets while also adding multiple positive health benefits. By choosing plants first, the CU Boulder community contributes directly to reducing the university's ecological footprint while inspiring healthier eating habits both on and off campus. According to Lisa, having accessible and delicious plant-protein options on-campus can encourage students to try more plant-based protein options off-campus. She encourages us to “try a new vegetable or fruit each week- take baby steps and be adventurous!” 

CU Boulder's initiative to introduce centralized plant-powered protein stations represents a significant step forward in aligning sustainable practices with everyday choices. By providing an even wider range of delicious and nutritious plant-protein options, the university not only promotes health and wellness but also underscores its commitment to environmental conservation. As the campus community indulges in these plant-based delights, we are contributing to changing social norms and systems for a brighter, greener, and healthier future for all.