New toolkit helps caterers switch beef for beans

A new sustainability scheme has been launched to help institutional caterers incentivise people to eat more plants.

The Kale Yeah! scheme from Friends of the Earth encourages caterers in places such as universities and workplaces to rebalance menus away from animal products towards vegetables, pulses and beans.

The scheme, which has been piloted with the University of Portsmouth, provides caterers with practical information including a rebalanced menu plan containing up to 56% less meat, fish and dairy, and tips on how to get more unprocessed plant-based ingredients into meals. These include swapping beef for beans, using less lamb and more lentils, and blending mushrooms into burgers.

Citing the high climate impact of intensive meat and dairy production, Friends of the Earth also wants caterers to source the meat, fish and dairy still on the menu from higher welfare and more planet-friendly sources such as free-range, organic and pasture-fed.

It said enabling people to eat more plant-based foods and less and better meat and dairy must form a key element of stopping further climate and nature breakdown as well as improving human health and animal welfare.

“Kale Yeah! shows caterers how easy it is to create exciting menus with less and better meat and dairy, and more veg, pulses and other tasty plant alternatives, whilst still providing delicious dishes and customer choice,” said Clare Oxborrow, Friends of the Earth’s food campaigner.

“Through Kale Yeah! we want to work with caterers to move meat from playing the starring role on menus to being more of a side show,” she added.

The Kale Yeah! resources are designed to help chefs meet and exceed meat reduction targets including the Eating Better coalition’s 50% by 2030, Public Sector Catering’s #20percentlessmeat pledge and the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation of a 20% reduction per person in the consumption of beef, lamb and dairy products.

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