October is National Vegetarian Awareness Month!

We want your Vegetarian recipes!

I talk with students and faculty every day (some are vegetarians and some are not) who tell me they have favorite vegetarian dishes they would love to share during National Vegetarian Awareness Month. This is GREAT because I am constantly looking for new and creative ideas to incorporate into our menus... especially in the area of vegetarian entrees.

Do you have a favorite vegetarian entrée you would like to share with me? Please send it to diningservices@unco.edu by October 15th. We will feature selected recipes in Holmes Dining Hall & Tobey-Kendel Dining Room during lunch the week of October 25th. Thank you in advance for sharing your creativity with our campus community!


Fall is officially here, and what a great time of year it is for FOOD!

We see the fruits of summer’s labor being gathered, and we are able to enjoy the freshness that only comes this time of year from local produce. It is fitting that October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, the beginning to Vegetarian Awareness Month, which lasts throughout October. The tradition of a world-recognized day of vegetarianism was started by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 to help raise awareness while educating individuals on vegetarianism.

Being a vegetarian can mean much more than just not eating meat. The word itself has an interesting history. Until the early 1800’s, vegetarians were referred to as Pythagoreans, after the Greek mathematician Pythagoras who disapproved of eating flesh. It is said that he believed this act deterred from the ability to live to one’s true mental and physical capabilities.


Vegetarianism can be traced even farther back to the traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Both religions stress the importance of treating all living things with reverence and consider the act of killing a living being against their basic beliefs. Other religions such as Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Taoism, Baha’i Faith, and Sikhism also have reference to vegetarianism in their teachings. In 1847, attendees at the meeting of the first Vegetarian Society in Ramsgate, England, agreed that a "vegetarian" was a person who refuses to consume flesh of any kind.This definition is still true today but has been further broken into sub categories of vegetarians.

  • Lacto vegetarians do not eat meat or eggs, but they may consume dairy products.
  • Lacto-ovo vegetarians do not eat meat, but they may consume dairy and eggs.
  • Ovo vegetarians may eat eggs.
  • Vegans avoid all animal products including eggs, milk, cheese, and honey. Vegans avoid eating or using animal products, such as leather, some cosmetics, or any product that was created through the use of any animal or insect.
  • Fruititarians eat only fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter that can be gathered without harming the plant.
  • Pesco/pollo vegetarians will not eat "red meat" but may consume poultry and seafood. This is not true vegetarianism, but it has been referred to as a type of semi-vegetarianism.
  • Flexitarians adhere to a diet that is mostly vegetarian, but they occasionally consume meat.

Taking on a vegetarian diet is a personal choice which can be made for a variety of reasons including nutritional, environmental, social, economical, and spiritual concerns. This month as you make your dining choices, remember that Dining Services offers a variety of vegetarian options, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy options at every meal. Each dining location provides a multitude of vegetarian offerings, not only this week, but every week. You can find a vegetarian option offered at every station for lunch and dinner. Menu items change daily, so be sure to look for something new the next time you dine with us. Check out our weekly menus for a listing of menu options and information.

Bon Apetit!

Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA

Executive Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA

Information gathered from: North American Vegetarian Society, A Vegetarian Sourcebook, and Nutrition-Information.net

Want to know what's being served in the dining rooms? Call the FoodLine (970.351.FOOD) for daily menus or look at our weekly menus online. Not signed up for the Faculty Staff Payroll Deduction program yet? Learn more about the program here.