The environment and health
For more and more people, a healthy, nutritionally rich and sustainable diet plays an important role, especially when the day is spent mostly in a seated position and concentration is paramount. With this in mind, the working group of the student administration developed a menu that makes light and balanced nutrition possible: mensaVital.
Under the brand mensaVital, we offer fresh, innovative meals which are prepared vitamin rich and low in fat – with natural ingredients and no flavour enhancers. Fresh herbs ensure an even more aromatic flavour experience. Carefully crafted and nutritionally balanced recipes produce a creative, wholesome menu.
The principles of mensaVital
Under the motto, “Fresh throughout the day," mensaVital stands for balanced and contemporary meals. Diverse flavours and freshness are characterising elements.
Every meal of the Vital-line fulfils the following criteria:
- connection to regional and international trends
- balanced composition of ingredients
- careful selection of groceries
- fresh, natural ingredients
- vitamin rich and low fat preparation
- use of high-quality fats and oils
- use of fresh herbs
- fresh vegetables in every meal
- balanced ratio of fish, meat, vegetarian and vegan meals
- no fried or deep-fried foods
- no heavily processed foods
- no flavour enhancers and spice mixes
The 13 cafeterias run by the Hamburg Student Union always serve climate-friendly meals on Wednesdays. None of their components have been made using processes causing high greenhouse gas emissions, e.g. red meat (beef, pork and lamb), nor do they contain products whose production requires large quantities of milk. The “KlimaTeller” is an initiative run jointly by the Hamburg Student Union and the not-for-profit GreenFlux e. V., an association of undergraduates and PhD students in Hamburg.
The Student Union is certified with the Bio organic seal, meaning we are allowed to label our organic foods with the “bio” organic seal. We are subject to strict checks by the Prüfverein Verarbeitung ökologischer Landbauprodukte e.V (test association for the processing of ecological agricultural products) for this. The relevant control authority monitors all food production processes in use at our canteens, ensuring a high degree of transparency and safety for our customers. We also hold regular BIO organic awareness days at all our cafeterias. Every day during this time, we serve organic dishes cooked exclusively with products from controlled, organic farming. We also cook with products, predominantly vegetables, from controlled organic farming, but cannot always label these in accordance with the certification authority’s regulations.
Many of our cafeterias and cafés offer fair-trade coffee and coffee specialties. The products bearing the Fair Trade seal have been grown in accordance with criteria for social, economic and ecological sustainability.
Fair trade means:
- Guaranteed minimum prices for farmers
- Long-term trade relations
- Financing community projects in the producing countries
- Careful handling of natural resources
No genetically modified organisms (GMO)
This means we do not use any food which
- has been made from genetically modified organisms (e.g. oil from genetically modified canola)
- is itself a genetically modified organism (e.g. potatoes, corn)
- contains genetically modified organisms (e.g., yoghurt with genetically modified bacteria).