Flexitarians, take heart

Compass Group announced that it was launching its “Be A Flexitarian” initiative.

Back in the 1980s, when “The ‘A’ Team” was enjoying a run as a hot TV action series, George Peppard, who played ‘A’ Team leader Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, had a stock phrase: “I love it when a plan comes together.”

That’s kind of how I felt Tuesday when Compass Group announced that it was launching its “Be A Flexitarian” initiative. Late last year, we had signed Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., to speak at our MenuDirections conference March 22. Blatner, an American Dietetic Association spokesperson, is the author of “The Flexitarian Diet.” Flexitarians are people who try to strike a nutritional balance by reducing, but not eliminating, the amount of meat they consume. It is a diet that is being promoted by groups as disparate as the ADA and the Humane Society of the United States.

Dawn Blatner had come highly recommended by David Grotto, R.D., another ADA member and author. Grotto has spoken at last year’s conference, addressing 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life.

But I had my reservations. Would attendees embrace apresentation on healthy eating by a dietitian and author in consecutive years? Would flexitarianism be considered too much of a fad diet for the topic to be a draw at the conference?

Compass Group, one of the world’s largest food management firms, has helped allay those fears. Choosing to invest time and money to promote the flexitarian diet indicates that company nutritionists believe this is a trend to follow. That carries a lot of weight.

So, if you want to learn more about this up-and-coming dietary lifestyle choice, plan to attend our eighth annual MenuDirections conference, March 21-23 in Miami, Fla. While you’re at it, you’ll be able to attend a series of workshops addressing a variety of culinary and operational topics. And it’s Miami, in March. What more incentive do you need? For more information, visit www.foodservicedirector.com/menudirections.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
smoothie

Nurses often mention that at 2 p.m. they are dragging and just trying to get through their 12-hour shift. This winter I will be implementing a 2 p.m. pick-me-up, which will include a smoothie station where they can create their own smoothie to help get them through their shift. It will be filled with energy-boosting ingredients to personalize their own drink, such as bananas, almonds, spinach and even dark chocolate.

Ideas and Innovation
chili

Winter is when our guests frequently crave something comforting and hearty, and chili is great for that. Our plan is to boost guest engagement this winter by inviting them to design a unique chili experience. The guest chooses the type of chili first, then the vessel: bowl, bread or potato. Next, they customize their dish even further by choosing the toppings, which will be categorized as traditional, creamy, crunch or heat. The wild card, crunch and heat categories, are where my team and I will flex our creativity and highlight different flavors, ingredients or techniques.

Ideas and Innovation
new year party

In search of inspiration for this letter, I turned to the one I wrote for January 2017, in which I griped about some trends I wanted to toss in the new year. Twelve months later, the Sriracha trend has calmed down, food trucks seem slightly less pervasive and, while the definition of “clean” eating continues to evolve, it’s not so laser-focused on GMOs. So it seems my predictions were correct, including the one about where I’d be eating on New Year’s Day (though I had no clue my now-fiance would propose to me that night over duck noodle soup).

However, since this year has been...

Industry News & Opinion

Dining hall workers at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., have been asked to remove stickers worn in protest of working conditions at the school’s dining halls, The Stanford Daily reports.

School officials say that the stickers with the statement “Respect and a Fair Workload” go against a union-university agreement that states union members may not wear “insignia [with] any message that is vulgar, profane, or disparaging of Stanford, or that results in conflict or disruption in the workplace.”

In a conversation with The Daily, Seth Leibson, senior organizer for SEIU...

FSD Resources