CUHK Lee Woo Sing College and Green MondayHong Kong’s First Credit-bearing General Education University Course dedicated to Plant-based Movement StudiesFuture of Food: Plant-based Living
Lee Woo Sing College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), in conjunction with social enterprise Green Monday Foundation Hong Kong, proudly announces the commencement of the first credit-bearing course dedicated to the study of plant-based lifestyle and movement in Hong Kong in 2018/19.
Meat consumption is rising as human populations grow and affluence increases. However, the United Nations (UN) research data points out that the livestock and meat industry accounts for 14.5% of the world’s total carbon emissions, which is one of the culprits in global warming. According to the UN latest report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if the world continues to warm up at the current rate, the temperature will have risen by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030, causing severe drought, mountain fires, floods, food shortages and other crises. Changing eating habits and increasing the proportion of vegetarian diets can help reduce overall carbon emissions and achieve an environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle.
Prof. Joseph Kwong, Dean of General Education, Lee Woo Sing College, stated, “Lee Woo Sing College has always been a pioneer in promoting green living on campus. We are pleased to partner with Green Monday, the advocator of vegetarianism in Hong Kong. With the generous support of Mrs. Jean Fung, we are able to introduce the idea of vegetarian diets and related environmental issues to the campus. College General Education emphasises both theory learning and practice. In this regard, and in addition to the general lectures, the elements of cooking and field trips are added to the course. Students are expected to experience the fun and benefits of a vegetarian diet which will help them reflect on the pros and cons of the modern diet.”
Mr. David Yeung, founder of Green Monday, echoed this. “Climate change and sustainable development are essential subjects in General Education. CUHK and Lee Woo Sing College set a leading role in educating students in the mutualistic relationship between a vegetarian lifestyle and environment protection by launching a dedicated General Education course on vegetarianism as well as introducing food-tech as a possible solution. It is hoped that other institutes and schools will follow in CUHK’s footsteps to launch similar courses because time is not on our side and immediate actions are needed to arouse the awareness of the general public on climate crisis.”
The credit-bearing College General Education course “Future of Food: Plant-based Living” will be open to all Lee Woo Sing College students in CUHK. Students will look into the key correlation between our diet and the environment, between our food and our health, and the human-animal relationship in a spatial and philosophical context in 13 lessons. Topics to be covered for discussion include the livestock industry and global warming, plant-based nutrition and disease prevention, and ethics on animals.
Each lesson consists of two sessions; a lecture and a cooking class. Lecturers are luminaries in disciplines related to a plant-based lifestyle and include Dr. Lee Yu Ming, registered Chinese medicine practitioner, Dr. Simon Chau, pioneer in green living in Hong Kong, Mr. Mark Mak, Chairman & CEO, Non-Profit making Veterinary services society (NPV), Ms. Shan Wong, registered social worker, Mr. Athlon Chan, Senior Business Executive, Green Monday, Ms. Celia Lau, registered dietitian, Green Monday, and Dr. Irene Lo, registered specialist surgeon.
Students will have the chance to apply the concepts through an outreach programme and a total of 7 plant-based culinary tutorials guided by culinary professional and chef host of “Vegan Mama Kitchen” Grace Wong. In the College’s fully equipped kitchen, students can experience the latest plant-based culinary techniques for subjects such as vegan baking and party ideas. Furthermore, the outreach programme will be a plant-based grocery shopping experience occurring in the Green Common and Kind Kitchen, operated under the Green Monday Foundation Hong Kong.
About Lee Woo Sing College, CUHK
The emblem of the College is made up of three classic Chinese characters – “people”, “mountain” and “harmony”. It indicates the College’s emphasis on staff-student interaction with the environment. The College is the pioneer in promoting green life among students and incubating a sustainable campus. The College is the first to enforce the following waste-control measures in CUHK: ditching plastic straws, charging for each type of disposables individually and food waste collection in the canteen. The College is the first tertiary institution in Hong Kong to take the initiative to incubate the following green measures: installation of a high-efficiency CIGS solar energy generation system, a new type of plasmonic crystals LED lighting, WS Sky Garden with farming facilities, and a hostel digital smart meter. The College’s effort has been recognised with many awards. To name a few, the silver award in the “Public Organisation, Utility, University” category of the Green PLUS Recognition Award 2014, given by China Light and Power (CLP) Hong Kong Ltd., being certified with a Platinum rating in the Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM) 2017, and the “Outstanding Award in Renewable Energy” category, CLP Smart Energy Award 2018.
Established six years ago, Green Monday is a multi-faceted award-winning social venture group that aims to tackle climate change, global food insecurity and public health issues. The overall mission of Green Monday is to “Make Change Happen; Make Green Common” through innovative solutions that can empower the world with sustainable and wholesome plant-based choices. The once-a-week, plant-based meal philosophy of Green Monday is practiced by 22% of the population in Hong Kong and has spread to over 30 countries. David Yeung, Founder of Green Monday, received the 2018 Social Entrepreneurs of the Year award from The Schwab Foundation For Social Entrepreneurship, known as the sister organisation of The World Economic Forum. With support from the D. H. Chen Foundation, Green Monday’s Global University Alliance embraces 1,000 primary and secondary schools and universities, with 2.5 million students around the world.