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Photo of food counter in Tulip Tree cafe

The refurbished Tulip Tree Café at the Nuffield Department of Population Health on the Old Road Campus has re-opened as the University of Oxford’s first meat-free café.

Making the café meat-free ties in perfectly with the department’s research on the benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets for the planet and public health.

Food production is responsible for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and much of these emissions comes from livestock production. In a study in Nature, Senior Researcher Dr Marco Springmann found that adopting plant-based diets could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the food system by half. He also contributed to The Lancet Planetary Health report, which found that energy-balanced and plant-based diets could result in greenhouse gas emissions reductions of up to 87%, and reductions in chronic disease mortality by up to 22%.

Tim Key, Professor of Epidemiology, has carried out much research into the possible health benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets and said he was looking forward to the new café opening. He added: ‘Recommendations from governments and expert groups now generally advise that healthy diets should be largely based on plant foods, and research in the NDPH has shown that vegetarians have a relatively low risk of obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes.’

Professor Sir Rory Collins, Head of NDPH, said: ‘I am very pleased that the Tulip Tree Café is increasing the meal choices for everyone, particularly vegetarians and vegans, working on the Old Road Campus. The refurbished café looks fresh and bright, improving the work environment.’

The café, in the Richard Doll Building, is run by Compass, the University’s catering partner, and is available to all staff on the Old Road Campus. The menu includes a full English vegetarian breakfast, a different vegan soup each day, hot snacks and main courses.

Harriet Waters, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Oxford said: ‘The opening of a vegetarian and vegan café in the Richard Doll building is exciting news showing the University applying its own research in a very tangible way. As we are currently consulting on an ambition to become net zero carbon and show net biodiversity gain, changing our food habits will have a key role to play in our future work.’