Growing Popularity of Plant-Based Eating Prompts Changes to On-Campus Food Options

Trent University & Fleming College invest in chef training to prepare, offer affordable vegan dishes,


Peterborough, ON (Wednesday, Oct. 23) – As more Canadians are opting to reduce consumption of meat and other animal products, Trent University and Fleming College are leading the way among post-secondary institutions across Canada finding new and innovative approaches to address this growing need.

Food service professionals from Trent University, Fleming College and more than a dozen other schools from across Ontario are attending Peterborough’s first-ever “Food Forward Culinary Experience,” October 23 to 24, a two-day training for chefs on how to create delicious, cost-effective and sustainable plant-based dishes.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Fleming College to deliver this program to dozens of schools from across the province,” says Mark Murdoch, director of Food Services at Trent University. “This collaboration helps us increase the use of plant-based proteins across Ontario and aims to improve the on-campus food service offerings at the schools who are attending.”

“The food choices that we make directly impact the energy and focus we need, and that is why we ensure our retail food service locations have all the nutritional information, healthy living brochures, sustainability information and local farm features so that our students and staff can make informed decisions,” says Travis Doak, director, Housing, Food and Student Conduct at Fleming College. “We are committed to responsible sourcing, waste minimization and efficient operations, and are continually developing and implementing sustainable solutions.”  

The innovative training will ultimately lead to increased availability of plant-based meal options on campuses. Young Canadians are particularly interested in adopting plant-based diets based on the environmental footprint of their meals, and the long-term health impacts of their dietary choices. Not only does the new Canada Food Guide recommend increased consumption of plant-based foods, plant proteins in particular, consumers are increasingly concerned with the conditions under which their food is produced.

“Planetary survival requires a fundamentally transformed food system,” says Dr. Michael Classens, an assistant professor in the Trent School of Environment and panelist at the Leadership Summit. “The increased interest in, and availability of, plant-based diets are promising developments in the pursuit of a more socially just and ecologically rational food system. Campus food systems can play a key role in modeling the kinds of interventions that can be beneficially scaled up to the broader food system.”

The training will be followed by Ontario’s first Forward Food Leadership Summit on Friday, October 25, when 150 foodservice professionals from higher education, health-care, restaurants, retail, manufacturing and more will learn about meeting the growing demand for plant-based food options.

About Trent University

One of Canada’s top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that’s personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent’s unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent’s students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent’s Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

About Fleming College
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 75,000 alumni.

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For more information contact:

Celia Grimbly, communications & media relations officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or celiagrimbly@trentu.ca

Sara O’Halloran, communications officer, Fleming College, (705) 749-5530 x 1366, sara.ohalloran@flemingcollege.ca If you no longer wish to receive news releases and advisories from Trent University, please email communications@trentu.ca to unsubscribe. Accessible versions of this document are available upon request at trentu.ca/accessible