Luther College Sustainability is challenging people to participate in "The Veg Yourself Pledge," a project to join Luther students, faculty and staff in a pledge to eat vegetarian at least once a week until the end of the college's spring semester, May 22.
The project goal is to establish healthy habits for participants by focusing on food groups that we seldom eat enough of, yet are essential for our well-being.
Pledges range from eating vegetarian one day a week to eliminating meat from one's diet completely for the remainder of the semester.
"More than 90 people have signed the pledge, the majority of which are non-vegetarian students," said Tina Yates, a Luther sophomore who is the creator of the project. "Collectively, we will have eaten approximately 2,336 vegetarian days during the pledge."
Yates, an environmental studies major at Luther, first thought of the "Veg Yourself Pledge" to fulfill a community service project assignment in her environmental philosophy class.
Yates researched health benefits of vegetarianism, and cites data that show vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index, lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, and reduced risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease and type two diabetes.
"On some of their campuses, Sodexo implements meatless Mondays, encouraging students to eat meatless," said Yates. "That led me to question how we could promote vegetarianism on campus, where we already have a vegetarian line in the cafeteria."
"Those ideas evolved into a pledge for students, staff and faculty to challenge themselves in order to promote positive, almost self-perpetuated change," said Yates.
For more information about "The Veg Yourself Pledge," visit the Luther Sustainability website: http://www.luther.edu/sustainability/food/vegpledge/.