Improving Your Impact Through Plant-Forward Meals
Plant-based eating has boomed in popularity as celebrities, companies, and rising generations (hello, Millennials!) have prioritized wellness and ingredient transparency in what they eat. We’re breaking down how this not-so-fad lifestyle not only has health benefits, but environmental benefits, too.
Identifying the problem
Emissions from livestock have a greater impact on the environment because of the methane they generate, land use needed for grazing and crops grown to feed them. However, plant-forward foods, can provide a healthy source of protein with a fraction of the impact.
Eurest’s wellness and sustainability platform, Food with Purpose, has introduced a plant-forward menu strategy with a commitment to reducing food waste 50% by 2030 including monthly special menu options for our guests
Plant-forward is a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes and celebrates a more sustainable culinary approach to food, which includes, but is not limited to, plant-based foods. Within the plant-forward spectrum are vegan, vegetarian, and plant-centric:
While vegan and vegetarian dishes are more obvious for some, plant-centric meals can be just as easy to understand. Examples of plant-centric meals include:
- Mushroom-blended burgers or bean beef chilis, which have more plants and less animal protein than a standard burger or beef chili.
- Recipes are tagged based on the yield portion size for meals and entrees. Mini portions with animal protein also count toward plant-centric due to the smaller serving size.
- Pasta Bolognese has pasta and tomato sauce that make up more than 50% of plant-based ingredients with only a smaller amount of beef by serving. This would also have lower carbon footprint than a center of the plate 4 oz beef steak.
Okay, you might now be saying: “I’m ready to take the plunge. How do I start?” While making a change in your approach to eating can feel intimidating at first, we’re here to make it easy.
Our best advice? Start small and make changes along the way as needed. Here are some easy tips for getting started:
1) Fill your plate with veggies
Think about animal protein as a side dish rather than the main course. Fill half your plate with vegetables during your meals and remember to include plenty of colors when choosing your vegetables.
2) Get creative with your proteins
Sometimes we forget that meat isn’t the only source of protein. We’re here to remind you that there are countless plant-based options that provide ample amounts of protein. Examples include legumes, quinoa, tofu, whole grains, yogurt and so much more.
3) Order plant-forward
Are you a guest at one of our marketplaces? You’re in luck! Our brand concepts, catering and coffee bars additionally offer animal protein alternatives and other mouth-watering offerings using simple ingredients.
BONUS: Throughout National Nutrition Month in March, our Food with Purpose stations will offer a variety of dishes packed with yummy beans and legumes, providing guests with a nutritious source of protein and a happy belly.