Meatless Monday: Integrate this Popular Health Trend into Your Corporate Catering Plan

Posted by on Friday, March 7th, 2014 with Comments Off on Meatless Monday: Integrate this Popular Health Trend into Your Corporate Catering Plan Comments

270 pounds: that’s the size of your typical refrigerator, or a North American black bear. It’s also how much meat the average American eats per year, and equates to around three-quarters of a pound of meat per day.

Meatless Monday sign

Meatless Monday is sweeping the nation – is your office next in line?
Image source: Flickr User Allio

And with study after study suggesting that a diet lower in meat and higher in plant-based foods can lead to longer life, lower blood pressure, and a smaller environmental impact, many offices, schools, and restaurants across the country are making an effort to reduce meat consumption. You’ve probably heard of one particularly specific and successful campaign: Meatless Mondays.

If your workplace is concerned about employee health and wellness (not to mention reducing health care costs), it may be time add Meatless Mondays to your corporate catering plan! Since 2003, cafeterias and restaurants across the country (and in more than 28 others) have made it a point to offer vegetarian alternatives on Mondays. And for those who follow the routine, skipping meat just one day a week means they’ll eat about 40 pounds less per year.

meat lover

Even meat lovers might be surprised by how tasty vegetarian cuisine can be.
Image source: Flickr User Thomas R. Stegelmann

Worried about the burger lovers in your office balking if you introduce the idea? Don’t be. Many participants don’t eliminate meat entirely, but instead feature vegetarian entrees along with a meat option. This strategy has been successful even in unlikely cattle-country communities like Omaha, Nebraska, where Benson Brewery’s Meatless Monday menus (adding dishes like mushroom stroganoff or kale and lentil salad) have led to packed dining rooms on the night that’s infamously slow in the restaurant business.

The point, according to health experts like Dr. Neal Barnard, is to make people realize that going meatless is possible — and potentially delicious. As Dr. Barnard tells, “First of all, in order to make a long-term change, you have to discover what is possible. And if a person has just realized, ‘Here it is Monday, and I just skipped the meat for one day,’ that means you’ll discover that your local restaurant may serve a bang-up Angel Hair Pasta with Wild Mushrooms. You learn that you can do it, and you learn what you can have.”

vegetarian enchiladas

Choose approachable vegetarian dishes to introduce Meatless Mondays.
Image source: flickr user SweetonVeg

Introducing Meatless Monday to an omnivore office is easier than it sounds. Does your corporate catering plan include providing full lunches to employees? Request approachable vegetarian options like lasagna with eggplant instead of sausage, or butternut squash ravioli. If your typical lunch routine includes simply ordering in takeout for the office, load up on options like black bean burritos from the Mexican place or a veggie-stuffed curry from the Indian restaurant. Include a few meat options as well, but simply make the emphasis on the vegetables instead of the usual beef, pork, or chicken.

Most importantly, however, is starting a conversation with employees about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. Meatless Mondays have been successful all over the world because most people want to be healthier. They want to reduce their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity… and by focusing on how delicious and nutritious a veggie-based meal can be, you could end up making a real dent in those 270 pounds. The campaign has literally dozens of posters, menu cards, and other attention-grabbing infographics for offices to use in their lunch rooms for just this purpose.

At the end of the day, your employees will appreciate delicious food. And that’s where the office dining experts at come in: we can help ensure your staff has an outstanding experience with vegetarian meals! From healthy takeout options to fully catered lunches, our team is standing by to meet your needs any day of the week.

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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