Are you a proud plant-eater? Want to make your dining hall more vegetarian and vegan friendly? Then join your fellow  foodies to discuss how to improve dining hall meals for all the herbivores out there.

The Vegetarian Focus Group is an open group for vegetarians and vegans (or anyone interested in vegetarianism or veganism) who meet the first Wednesday of every month in either J2 of Kinsolving Dining Hall at 5 pm to discuss upcoming dining hall events, new vegetarian menu items, potential menu changes and other health-related topics.


Photo by Katie Walsh

UT Dietician Lindsay Wilson leads the meetings, offering her expertise on the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. Lindsay is available for free dietary counseling to any student that believes he is nutrient deficient.

Many of the vegetarian dishes currently served in the dining halls were first tested by the focus group and then tweaked based on the comments and recommendations the chefs received by the VFG attendees. Those who attend meetings have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with dining hall chefs, ask questions or offer suggestions. Following the meeting, attendees enjoy free entry into the dining hall to stuff themselves with even more dining hall goodness.

Another perk of attending a Vegetarian Focus Group meeting is the free t-shirt (often times among other free goodies) that grants you a discount into the dining halls every Monday evening for Meatless Mondays.

Meatless Mondays is a weekly event designed to start students’ weeks off on a healthier note by replacing many of the meat-based dishes with lower-cal vegetarian options. By implementing this weekly university-wide event, the university is predicted to save 150 tons of carbon emissions. Not too shabby, eh?


Photo by Katie Walsh

What starts here changes the world, right? But before all that world-changing, we need to make sure we’re eating right- and the best way to do that is to get involved. Better your eatery, better yourself.