January has become synonymous with Veganuary, where thousands of people try out a plant-based diet worldwide. We’re caterers who love cooking from scratch with fresh vegetables, so we’re big fans of vegan dishes. Not to mention that, more often than not, vegan foods have a much lower carbon footprint than those that include animal products. However, there’s much to consider when incorporating vegan dishes into office menus. Here’s our take on getting vegan eating right for workplace foodservice:
Respecting individual tastes
We don’t believe forcing dietary habits on our diners is right. After all, our diet and food preferences are an integral part of our identity. Instead, we encourage giving vegan eating a go by providing a variety of plant-based dishes that appeal to even the most ardent meat-eaters. Our samosa chaat pop-up is a perfect example of vegan food that appeals to the masses whilst reducing meat consumption on our menu.
But how do we encourage plant-based eating without forcing it?
For this year’s Veganuary, we’ve made all sides, salads and soups vegan on our menus. However, diners can still get their hands on hearty meat or vegetarian main dishes with every daily menu. There are two reasons why we decided to take this approach:
- A show of support for our Veganuary dinersWe want to make lunchtimes more straightforward for those taking part in Veganuary. So our menu has been adapted to make it easier for people to stick to their commitments.
- Encouraging others to eat more plant-based dishesPeople who enjoy animal products can reduce their environmental impact by enjoying fruit, veg, nuts, grains and pulses in their diets. We strike the right balance by offering non-plant-based mains while making vegan sides, salads and soups. The idea is that by choosing a more pragmatic approach to promoting a plant-based diet, people are more likely to see the benefits.
At our client’s sites, we’ve learnt that people want to choose the food that matches their mood. Some days people might feel like having a light salad, and others might want something more indulgent. Our chefs work hard to ensure that our menus accommodate what people want, whatever they crave.
In July 2021, roughly 14% of people in the UK identified as ‘flexitarian’. At the office canteen, we’ve noticed that this translates to diners mixing up their daily lunches between vegan, veggie, meat and fish dishes – depending on their feelings. By offering more vegan dishes, we’re diversifying our menu so people can manage how they eat.
A locally grown heritage tomato in late summer tastes sublime, whilst freshly cut asparagus in April offers earthy and subtle flavour. Fresh ingredients like these deserve attention. We don’t see vegan dishes as a box-ticking exercise. For us, it’s a chance for our clients to enjoy the wealth of flavours from plants on their own. Eating plant-based is not only an ethical choice; it can also simply be for the love of good food.
It’s a wrap!
Everyone’s definition of ‘good food’ is different. As contract caterers, we have our vision of what good food means to us, which aims to strike a balance to keep everyone happy and well-fed. However, as consumers in the food chain, we all bear the responsibility to adopt more sustainable behaviours. The increased consumption of plant-based ingredients over animal-based ones is a step in the right direction, but one we must take care of.
As in-office caterers, Fooditude is uniquely positioned to inspire better ways to eat sustainably to the three thousand people we feed daily. Our approach is not to make people ‘move away’ from eating animal products but to inspire plant-based eating as an equally attractive choice. Curious to see what we’ve been serving? Get the full menu here.