Sodexo is working with vendor Knorr Professional and conservation organization World Wildlife Fund-UK (WWF-UK) to feature recipes inspired by Knorr and WWF-UK’s Future 50 Foods report, which identifies 50 plant-based foods that are healthy, flavorful, accessible and have a lower carbon footprint than animal-based foods. Sodexo already launched 200 plant-based meals in the U.S. last year.
The company’s initial rollout in the U.S. will feature five recipes that will be introduced in 2,500 kitchens across the country, including healthcare and corporate locations. They include an ancient grain granola bowl (see recipe here), ube maitake tartine (an open-face sandwich featuring a purple sweet potato called ube, maitake mushrooms and beet greens), a Vietnamese ancient grain bites plate and a Tuscan chickpea, polenta and rapini bowl.
The Future 50 Foods report will help consumers incorporate plant-based ingredients into their diets that support the ongoing bio-diversity of our food system and are readily available for purchase in most marketplaces.
The Future 50 Foods report was compiled by a group of scientists, nutritionists and agricultural experts who worked together to determine specific healthy ingredients that could contribute to a more sustainable food system. Their list, selected for their lower environmental impact and high nutritional value, combines familiar foods such as lentils, wild rice and kale with lesser-known ones like fonio, pumpkin flowers and cactus.
“Sodexo has a long-term commitment to nutrition and sustainability as a worldwide leading provider of food services,” said Rob Morasco, Sodexo’s senior director of culinary development in the United States in announcing the initiative. “Future 50 Foods represent an additional step toward more plant-forward and sustainable options. Incorporating a variety of foods into our diets is healthier and more flavorful and helps improve the planet’s overall biodiversity and soil health.”
For the menu launch, Sodexo and Knorr Professional chefs and nutritionists developed 40 recipes using ingredients from the Future 50 Foods report and are introducing them in more than 5,000 kitchens globally.
“People are waking up to the fact that the food we eat is having a devastating impact on our environment. Not only is our food system a major contributor to climate change, it is the main reason that the planet’s incredible wildlife is being destroyed,” said Sarah Halevy, WWF-UK’s sustainable diet manager in the announcement release. “It’s vital that we change the way we produce and consume food, moving away from an over-reliance on animal protein—carbon heavy foods which require vast amounts of space, water and feed to produce—towards more plant-based diets. Joining forces with chefs and the food industry is an important step, which allows consumers to choose sustainable dishes, helping to drive the change that we desperately need to happen.”