Harper Dining Hall introduced a new program at the start of the fall semester which would include more meals focused on plant-based eating.

Amanda Robin, an employee at the Creighton Wellness program, spoke about the benefits of plant-based eating, which include prevention against chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes, as well as promoting fiber intake which impacts gut health in a positive way.

“Now that Creighton Dining is offering more plant-based foods, students, faculty and staff have an opportunity to try foods they might not choose on their own,” Robin said.

Tasos Kyprianos, campus executive chef, was pioneering the project at Harper, and spoke about plant-based eating’s importance.

“The Creighton demand was always there, and it was increasing,” Kyprianos said.

Over the summer, the staff for Harper Dining Hall participated in a month-long training program, aided by the Humane Society of America, where they learned more about how to cook and prepare plant-based meals and the benefit of cooking with only plant-based foods.

“From the bottom of the ladder to the top, the whole staff learned more about why plant-based foods matter, and how we can make it interesting for the students,” Kyprianos said.

Creighton University has become the pilot for plant-based eating recipes within the Humane Society’s database for dining hall recipes.

Kyprianos has already begun working with other universities throughout the Midwest and looks forward to helping more with the introduction of plant-based eating.

He also noted that the plant-based station at Harper dining hall gives it something to stand out in its own way from the other dining halls located on campus.

However, just because there is now a greater focus on plant-based meals and the inclusion of more plants within the dining halls, there is no plan to remove meat from the menu.

Rather than a strict vegan or vegetarian style dining hall, Kyprianos believes a ‘flexitarian’ menu would be most appropriate, allowing students to decide whether or not they want meat that day and have a hearty, well-made option if they don’t want meat.

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