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Prestigious Cooking School to Industry: Please Use More Plant Based Options

The prestigious chef guru factory, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) just released The Protein Flip and The Protein Play. These are two empirically derived documents that challenge and urge chefs and food service professionals to utilize more plant-based proteins on their menus.

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Both documents urge chefs to “rethink their protein portfolios” by avoiding the use of meat. They cite health and environmental reasons. Although the report does not mention the ethical treatment of animals. The end result of focusing on “elevating the role of legumes, nuts, and plant-forward flavors in general” will spare the lives of countless animals.

This study partnered with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health under the Menus of Change initiative. These outstanding resources include sections that debunk, and destroy myths around the positive benefits of consuming meat and dairy. The documents also include infographics about the greenhouse gas emissions of various protein sources, and techniques to create dishes with vegetables as the centerpiece, all while urging chefs to “leave behind the habit of using ‘protein’ as a synonym for ‘meat.’”

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CIA spokesperson Greg Drescher said that “So often in our industry we unnecessarily limit options for our customers, narrowing choices to ‘regular’ (e.g., a steak, half a chicken, etc.) and ‘unleaded’(e.g., vegetarian pasta),” and revealed that the school’s new toolkit will, “challenge us to adopt next-generation approaches that simultaneously embrace and integrate indulgence, deliciousness, health, and sustainability—all on the same menu, and often in the same dish.”

This is another step in the right direction.  This is huge news as many are aware public institutions of this stature do not take public announcements like this lightly. The movement is picking up steam.