Thursday. 30.11.2023

Restaurants of the University of Helsinki aim to help saving the planet by eliminating beef from their culinary menus.

As of February, beef will be removed from all their products, including café items such as sandwiches and rolls. Instead, pork, chicken and meatless proteins will be used.

The decision was made by the UniCafe cafeterias, operated by the student's union of Helsinki University, which serve some 10,000 lunches per day.

According to the Finnish Broacasting Company (Yle), UniCafe has calculated that eliminating beef from the menu will "cut the carbon footprint of the meals it serves by 11%, or around 240,000 kg of carbon dioxide annually". Currently, beef accounts for 15% of the meat used by the company.

"The idea came from the staff when we were pondering our next socially responsible move. We realized that this would be a way to significantly cut our carbon emissions," explained UniCafe business operations director Leena Pihlajamäki to Yle.

Pihlajamäki said she is sure that ground beef is "easier to replace with other ingredients", so she believes many of their customers will not notice the difference

Ylva, the company that manages the daily operations of university restaurants, aims to increase the sales of vegetarian and vegan lunches to more than 50% of all services by the end of 2020. Currently, they add up to "around 40%".

University of Helsinki restaurants remove beef from the menu