“Any sustainability plan that’s meant to create real change—and not just be greenwashing jargon—will center on shifting from a meat-heavy menu to one that’s focused on plant-based entrées.”
Hundreds of universities across the US are set to have more plant-based menu options on their menus in the coming years.
The move has been initiated by food service provider Sodexo – which serves more than 100 million consumers daily – in collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
According to the catering giant, 70% of its carbon footprint in the 2020 fiscal year was linked to animal-based foods.
So, in order to meet its climate goals of slashing carbon emissions by 34% by 2025, Sodexo plans to revamp its menu and incorporate more plant-based foods due to their lower emissions.
Sodexo plans to turn 42% of its menus across colleges and universities plant-based.
‘A formula for success’
“Any sustainability plan that’s meant to create real change – and not just be greenwashing jargon – will center on shifting from a meat-heavy menu to one that’s focused on plant-based entrées,” said Karla Dumas, the director of food service innovation at the Humane Society US.
“I’m thankful to Sodexo for being a leader in the industry by committing to the tangible changes required to meet greenhouse gas emission goals. By developing a plant-based initiative that includes menu goals, recipe innovation, and customer satisfaction, Sodexo has found a formula for success.”
The menu changes will be implemented through Sodexo’s existing Plant-Based Takeovers programs, which also involves chefs being trained on plant-based cooking. The training will be led by the HSUS.
Around 140 universities have implemented these programs, and Sodexo will review the changes based on feedback from staff, students, and faculty.
“It’s important for us to receive feedback directly from the customer as it helps us identify which plant-based dishes will become permanent fixtures on our menus,” Chef Jennifer DiFrancesco, Director of Culinary Innovation for Sodexo Campus, said in a statement.
Sodexo and the plant-based movement
This isn’t Sodexo’s first move away from animal products.
In 2018, the company tied up with HSUS to launch its “Love of Food” project.
It saw 200 plant-based meals introduced to corporate, university, and healthcare cafeterias across the US. The programme was expanded to more countries including Belgium, the United Kingdom, and France in 2019.
The catering giant, while curating its cafeteria menu used products from Impossible Foods meat, JUST Egg and MorningStar Farms’ meat further sending the message that it wanted to align its business with trends in the plant-based sector.
Sodexo also focused on incorporating ingredients listed in the Future 50 Foods report compiled by Knorr Professional and leading conservation organization WWF-UK.
The report ranked 50 of the most nutritious plant-based ingredients based on their nutritional value and relative impact on the environment. Sodexo used them to develop a wide array of grain and legume-powered dishes that are now being served at over 5,000 Sodexo-serviced cafeterias.
John Wright, Senior Vice President, Sodexo Food Platform, in a statement at the time said: “When you see there are more than 20,000 known edible plants on our planet, and yet our food comes primarily from a dozen of them, there is definitely [an] opportunity to change and discover new ways of eating.
“Today, we are helping consumers as they look for ways to adopt more sustainable diets.”
Apart from promoting plant-based meals, Sodexo is also focusing on three other areas namely fighting food waste, building a low-carbon supply chain, and promoting innovative energy solutions to reduce its overall carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Share this story: 42% of US campus menus to move towards plant-based.
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
Vegan Nottingham student creates budget-friendly oat milk machine to reduce carbon footprint and combat rising prices
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 30th May 2023
The invention is sustainable and cost-effective. A vegan undergraduate studying product design at Nottingham Trent University has developed a container that can help people create their own oat milk at home for just 20 pence per litre. “Oatilicious,” provides significant cost savings compared to store-bought oat milk for up to £2.20 per carton. The innovative …
Continue reading “Vegan Nottingham student creates budget-friendly oat milk machine to reduce carbon footprint and combat rising prices”
Bear Grylls ’embarrassed’ by past vegan diet promotes meat, blood, and bone marrow for better health
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 15th May 2023
“I’ve tried to listen to my body more, tried to listen to nature, and I don’t miss vegetables at all. I don’t go near them, and I’ve never felt stronger, my skin’s never been better, and my gut’s never been better.” Adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls has become a die-hard carnivore fan after admitting …
Continue reading “Bear Grylls ’embarrassed’ by past vegan diet promotes meat, blood, and bone marrow for better health”
NEED A LAUGH?
All the quizzes you love to binge!
QUIZ: If you score 11/12 on this quiz, you’re a verified vegan food expert
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
Continue reading “QUIZ: If you score 11/12 on this quiz, you’re a verified vegan food expert”
QUIZ: What is your perfect Vegan Halloween Costume?
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
Continue reading “QUIZ: What is your perfect Vegan Halloween Costume?”
QUIZ: What kind of vegetable are you?
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …