Aspirus expanding non-meat options in its cafeterias

Aspirus' Nutrition and Food Services system functional team is increasing the meatless options in our cafeterias. All hospitals in the system will offer at least one meatless option each Monday.

Meatless Mondays: Why are we doing it?

  • Environmental benefits: The livestock industry makes up 15 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. The emissions from one burger is equivalent to charging your iPhone for six months or driving seven miles in your car. Even cutting out meat one day a week can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, restore our natural resources, and save water, land and energy. Eating a plant-based diet could reduce the agricultural industry’s water use by 50 percent and land use by 80 percent.
  • Nutritional benefits: Fruits and vegetables are our main sources of vitamins and minerals. Including more in your diet can increase your fiber, potassium and vitamin C consumption. Fiber can help regulate your digestive tract. Potassium can help lower blood pressure, regulate your water balance and protect against stroke. Vitamin C helps give your immune system a boost. These are just some of the important vitamins and minerals you get from plants! Switching to a more plant-based diet can boost your nutritional status.
  • Risk reduction: There are many health benefits to reducing your meat intake. Eating less meat, even just one day a week, helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. It can also lower your blood pressure and keep you at a healthy weight. Individuals who have a more plant-based or plant-focused diet are more likely to consume fewer calories per day, fewer calories from fat and meet their daily requirements for vitamins and minerals. They are also 15 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. A plant-based diet can also protect your kidneys.

Among the meatless options hungry patrons can look forward to enjoying at Aspirus are:

  • Grilled Cheese/Tomato Soup
  • Vegetable Lasagna
  • Stuffed Cheese Shells
  • Black Bean Quesadilla
  • Cheese Pizza
  • 4-Cheese Baked Ziti
  • 3-Bean Chili without Meat
  • Cheese Enchiladas
  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Baked Manicotti
  • Navy Bean Soup

Article written in part by Mackenzie Burke, dietetic intern at UW-Madison.