The Humane Society of the United States is proud to launch the Forward Food Challenge – a sustainability campaign to help dining operations address the climate crisis by providing an incentive to change their menus to focus on plant-based meals. The goal for the challenge is to collectively prevent 50,000 pounds of carbon equivalent emissions through these menu changes.
The challenge kicks off Nov. 1, 2021, a day after the start of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, and ends on April 30, 2022. Resources from the campaign will remain available to dining operations to offer support and guidance with their plant-based goals. Dining operations that accept the challenge will be tasked with replacing one meat-based dish on their menus with one plant-based dish every day for three weeks while also promoting the plant-based dishes on their social media channels.
Challenge participants will receive a wide variety of support from the HSUS including weekly resources, shareable graphics and fliers, a carefully curated set of plant-based recipes, sample three-week cycle menus, sample plant-based menu swaps ideas, one-on-one assistance from the HSUS’s food service innovation team and more. The institution that saves the most greenhouse gasses through its menu changes will win a free greenhouse gas assessment from Dr. Isaac Emery, the HSUS’s greenhouse gas specialist and principal consultant at Informed Sustainability Consulting.
The food service sector has a unique opportunity to drastically reduce carbon emissions by simply altering their purchasing patterns. Research shows that one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions is animal agriculture. Producing meat, dairy and eggs requires significantly more land, water and other resources than plant-based foods, while simultaneously emitting massive amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere. By reducing the amount of animal-based foods on menus and by providing more plant-based options, institutions can help stem the climate crisis and build a sustainable food system for generations to come. To find out more and to take the Forward Food Challenge, visit ForwardFood.org/Challenge.
- Madeline Bove