We’ve enjoyed two encouraging food trends on the rise in 2016—less meat consumption and less food waste—both predicted to continue next year. Although animal suffering and planetary health aren’t usually taken into account by mainstream society when making business decisions, we’re seeing more and more reasons in the news for animal activists and vegans to rejoice and anticipate positive outcomes in 2017.
When French starred chef Alain Ducasse reports that plant-based dishes ordered in his 25 restaurants went from 1-3% to 25% we know things are moving in the right direction! Ducasse’s new recipe book emphasizes veggie meals and smaller portions to avoid waste.
Meanwhile Foodservice Consultants Society International, a global consulting firm for the foodservice and hospitality industry, predicts dramatic worldwide decreases in both meat consumption and food waste for 2017.
In a December 2016 FCSI blog, Tina Nielsen reviews trends for 2017, and two items stand out, entitled “Goodbye, meat” and “Waste not.”
Under “Goodbye, meat” US-based consultant John Turenne, FCSI’s president of Sustainable Food Systems, says “More and more omnivores will gravitate to a more plant-based diet. Not only is it considered a healthier choice for our own wellbeing, but the consumption of less meat has proven to have significant environmental benefits.”
Under “Waste not,” Nielsen mentions the many European efforts to prevent supermarket food waste. One of our Newsbits described this movement, which started in France, the first country in the world to make supermarket food waste illegal. French stores are required to either donate their edible products reaching sell-by dates to soup kitchens/charities or send them to composting centers used in local public gardens and parks. We’ve also written about freeganism and Freegan Pony, a clandestine restaurant set up in squatted warehouses in the 20th Arrrondissement of Paris. From Monday to Friday, volunteers serve inexpensive vegan meals made from unsold and unattractive produce recovered from Rungis, the world’s biggest food market.
Given the rise of the plant-based and vegan movements, as well as the praiseworthy efforts of flexitarians, our New Year’s wish is to soon see mainstream blog posts and media articles entitled “Goodbye, all animal products!”