Green machine innovates meals at UCT

Moroccan Tagine is on the meatless menu at UCT.

In the name of health, UCT will swop out meat for greens by featuring 18 new plant-based dishes in 10 of its residence dining halls from Monday October 23.

The change to green is part of the Green Monday global initiative which encourages people to make a positive difference to their health and the environment by swopping meat, milk and eggs for entirely plant-based meals at least one day a week.

The initiative is supported by Humane Society International (HSI), one of the largest animal protection organisations in the world.

UCT will be the first university in Africa to implement this programme and culinary staff participated in a number of food tastings and chef trainings by HSI and experts on plant-based cooking, to come up with the perfect menu, at no cost to the university.

Some of the new dishes include baked Mexican enchiladas, Mediterranean pasta primavera, creamy African peanut stew, red lentil and cauliflower curry roti and Cape Malay bobotie. The dishes rely on local ingredients and are less expensive and more sustainable than similar dishes using animal products.

“The ‘water footprint’ of meat, milk or eggs is substantially more than for plant-based foods, based on the amount of water needed to grow feed for the animals to eat. With beef, for example, it takes over 15 000 litres of water to
produce a single kilogram of

“Our students are always asking for new dishes and they really care about the world around them.

“This programme is so exciting and we hope to expand it in the future.

“We are particularly pleased to work with Humane Society International because their chief executive officer, Dr Andrew Rowan, is a UCT graduate,” said UCT catering manager Paul Marais.

Campaign manager for HSI Africa, Leozette Roode, said that eating more green meals could really make a difference to the health of the nation and could also spare animals from being raised on large industrial farms where there were often significant welfare problems.

HSI works with governments, farmers and other stakeholders in the egg, meat and dairy sectors to end the extreme confinement of animals in cages and crates, and improve the overall welfare of farm animals.

For recipes and more information on the Green Monday movement, visit or

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