Serving Earth-friendly Foods at Environmental Events
Meat and dairy production are a primary cause of climate change, habitat loss, wildlife extinction, pollution and water consumption. The food we serve at environmental events and conferences presents an opportunity to educate attendees on the environmental cost of food production, reflects our values and supports our work to protect the planet.
The Center for Biological Diversity, in collaboration with Animal Place’s Food for Thought program, offers resources to help environmental events and conferences choose and promote Earth-friendly menus, and for organizations and event organizers to adopt plant-based policies.
An Earth-friendly menu is one that offers more plant-based options and reduces portions of meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. When feasible, ingredients are locally and organically sourced.
Ways to incorporate Earth-friendly food in your event may include:
- Display event materials that show why you're serving Earth-friendly food;
- Offering plant-based dairy alternatives at coffee stations;
- Ensuring every meal has at least one plant-based main course (no meat or dairy);
- Substituting common meat-heavy staples like beef, poultry and seafood dishes with vegetarian versions such as pasta with vegetables, black-bean tacos or tofu scrambles;
- Exploring more diverse cuisines that traditionally offer a variety of plant-based dishes, such as Indian, Mediterranean, Chinese, Thai or Mexican food;
- Choosing local caterers willing to work with organizers to provide plant-based alternatives;
- Encouraging event attendees to visit local restaurants that offer plant-based foods and potentially partnering with local restaurants to serve Earth-friendly dishes during the event.
Adopting Earth-friendly Organization Policies
Animal Place’s “Food for Thought” campaign works with and awards grants to animal- and environmental-protection groups to encourage animal-friendly vegan menus at their sponsored events.
- Offers substantive grants for organizations that adopt animal-friendly menu policies;
- Produces a directory to help events work with catering companies on Earth-friendly menus;
- Gives tips on event menus and how to throw your first Earth-friendly/veggie menu event.
- Guides groups through the process of adopting a veggie policy and many other resources for partners and advocates.
- Provides a report card that ranks and promotes environmental and animal organization food policies.
See the Center’s organizational food policy as an example of environmental organizations implementing Earth-friendly foods to support their activism.
Interested in offering Earth-friendly meals at your events or adopting Food for Thought policies? Contact us for more information.