Plant Based Menus

The Lempert Report
April 26, 2023

Whitsons is a food service operator that runs a lot of school lunch programs. What they've decided to do after they had a concept restaurant called Veggabols. They've decided that they want one third of its menu to be plant-based by 2025. And they're making the schools have at least one plant-based offering. Do you think that this is gonna work? 

Sally: Well, I really hope so. I really love this concept. So what they did last year in New York, in a K through 12 school district, they piloted the Veggabols program. And this was a 100% plant-based program. So the menu was all vegetable and plant-based which is really incredible. So yes, the goal being that that we can reduce our impact, our negative impact on the environment, and also provide more nutrition for our students by offering more plant-based items. And this isn't like what we've already seen where, for example, my daughter is a vegetarian and you know, there will usually be a plant-based option at school every day, but meat is also served every day. So the difference here, I believe, is that meat is not going to be served every day in these cafeterias, and that could really reduce our negative impact on the environment. I believe they already saw from their pilot that the emissions saved from 49 account, the emissions saved were 80,820 pounds. Now that is equivalent to 90,966 miles driven. So we're already seeing that this type of concept can have a major impact. 

Phil: Absolutely. And also, if we can get students to go plant-based earlier in life, they're gonna carry that through for the rest of their life. And whether it's because of greenhouse gases, whether it's being healthier, whatever, we're all gonna win by doing that.