Sustainability in Practice: Reducing Meat, Increasing Vegetable Consumption

Study found that 49% of operators who implemented Meatless Monday programs reported an increase in purchases of vegetables.

After implementing a Meatless Monday program, Sodexo saw that customers were purchasing more vegetables, according to a new report by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. 

In January 2011, Sodexo started Meatless Monday programs in its healthcare, government and corporate accounts. The study found that 49% of foodservice directors who implemented the Meatless Monday program reported an increase in purchases of vegetables and 30% saw a decrease in meat purchases.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that livestock’s contribution to climate change is larger than transportation’s contribution worldwide.

Livestock contributes nearly 18% to the global warming effect. Livestock’s contribution includes everything in an animal’s lifecycle, including waste, converting forested areas for grazing and feed production.  

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources