Don’t call it ‘vegan’ and other tips from hospitals to get people to eat less meat

Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital in Boston is using creative methods to encourage people to eat less meat in an effort to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions.

The mission: The hospital is one of 60 organizations that have pledged to reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030.
* Initially, the reduction of meat met with resistance but recent efforts framed around mitigating climate change have been more successful.
* The latest data shows that while beef and lamb make up just 5% of the hospital’s food purchases, they account for 56% of the hospital’s food-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Stealth strategies: Hospital leaders use a subtle approach, emphasizing what’s in a dish rather than what’s missing, and avoiding labels such as “vegan.”
* Plant-rich foods are placed at the start of the buffet line and meat-free options are displayed next to meat dishes.
* Competitions and cooking demonstrations are used to encourage trying plant-based menu items.

Impact and future plans: The hospital is now expanding the initiative to patient meals, with more plant-based dishes where meat is an option.
* Food-related emissions are a small part of most hospital greenhouse gas emissions, but advocates say this is a critical step in overall reduction.
* By the end of 2021, the first 30 organizations to sign the pledge cut food-related emissions per calorie by 21%.

Quotations and perspectives: “It’s a little bit more altruistic in that way,” says Susan Langill, the hospital’s director of food services. “They are putting the earth and future generations before their own health.” Meanwhile, Andrea Venable, a self-proclaimed meat-lover and hospital employee, admits of the plant-based options, “I gotta say it’s good, really good.”

View original article on NPR

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