Plant-based news

Plant-based news is all around us, from new restaurants opening in your favorite city to exciting food innovations, and even new studies related to health. Here are some article we think are worth a read. 

Advocacy steps for plant-based school food

Two high school students share their experience and tips after successfully convincing their school to serve plant-based options every day.


Climate-friendly and culturally relevant food to the school cafeteria: Lessons from a student advocate

Interview with a student who successfully made the case for serving plant-based school meals in her district. Her campaign kicked off in conjunction with Earth day and reached elementary through high school students.

How I got my school district to combat climate change by changing what we eat

A high school student spent her senior year partnering with her school’s food service team to introduce plant-based meals in the school cafeteria.

California Student Succeeds in Landmark Lawsuit Challenging Big Dairy’s Stranglehold on School Meals, Speech

A California lawsuit has been settled, acknowledging the right to speak out about dairy as a matter of free speech. A student who had previously been prohibited from distributing information critical of dairy filed the lawsuit.

Brigham and Women’s wants to draw diners to what’s healthy

Researchers offering plant-based entrees to kids at a K-8 school over a four month study saw no difference in plate waste compared to meat-based meals, and the plant-based meals provided more vitamins, fiber and calories.

University of Dayton surpasses its plant-based goal

The university established a goal to serve 30% plant-based options by 2025. The dining program now offers over 40% plant-based entrees.

California Leads the Way in Low-Carbon School Meals

Several state programs in California have made it easier for schools to serve healthy, plant-based meals. Districts in Florida and Minnesota get shout outs, too, for their initiatives.

Brigham and Women’s wants to draw diners to what’s healthy

Two Massachusetts hospitals are taking a cue from choice architecture and putting healthy and plant based foods front and center in their cafeterias to nudge customers to make better choices. At one of the cafés, plant-based entrees make up 35% of the dishes.

Southwest Foodservice Excellence aims to grow its plant-based options

The Phoenix-based K-12 food service provider is partnering with the Humane Society of the United States to develop more plant-based options. Currently, close to 30% of its menu offerings are plant-based, and it wants to increase that number.

How UW Health is reimagining hospital food with a focus on diversity and sustainability

Customer feedback to plant-forward items has been positive, and the majority of recipe requests the hospital’s culinary team receives are for plant-forward options.

6 trends currently shaping college dining

Plant-based options feature in half of these trends, including expanded options for dietary restrictions, plant-based gets even bigger and climate transparency.

Ditching vegan and plant-based labeling may make food more appealing, study suggests

Describing foods as healthy and sustainable instead of vegan or plant-based may make customers more likely to select them, a new study suggests. 

UC Berkeley commits to having 50% of its entrees be plant-based by 2027

UC Berkeley has committed to have at least 50% of the entrees served in its dining commons by plant based by 2027, and it is teaming up with the Humane Society of the United States to reach that goal.

Liberty Dining launches plant-forward, gluten-free food truck

Liberty University in Virginia added a plant-forward and gluten-free food truck to its permanent offerings. This stand-alone operation eliminates the risk of cross-contamination and meets a growing need for plant-based food options among college students.

Wayne State University reopens its plant-forward dining hall

Detroit’s Wayne State University reopened its plant-focused dining hall after the pandemic due to student demand. The refreshed concept was tweaked to focus exclusively on plant-based options.

Making a plant-forward cafe viable for the long haul

The University of Connecticut’s launch a vegan and vegetarian café has been a huge success. Notes a university official, “… there’s a lot of students on campus who are kind of more that flexitarian type of diet, which means they’re actually looking to eat more plant-based foods if they’re made available to them.”

How Chartwells Higher Ed's climate-labeling initiative is helping college campuses meet sustainability goals

An educational food service provider has found that providing information about a meal’s sustainability impacts students’ food choices. The company notes, “Seventy-five percent of Gen Z are influenced by sustainability and environmental impact” when making purchase decisions.

Climate labeling is correlated with demand for low-carbon meals, Chartwells Higher Education finds

Student demand for low-impact meals increased after adding the labeling.

Got free speech? An LAUSD student is restricted from promoting non-dairy milk

A 17 year old Los Angeles high school student was prohibited from distributing information about alternatives to dairy milk at her school because of USDA rules that protect the dairy industry.

81 Percent of Students Opt for Plant-Based When It’s the Default. And It Drastically Cuts School Emissions.

When students are presented with a plant-based option as the default, an overwhelming majority will
choose it. The campus food service provider Sodexo ran the experiment over 35 lunch periods at three universities. Sodexo is planning to meet its climate goals by serving more plant-based meals.

Sodexo Campus commits to 50% plant-based menu by 2025

After finding that at least 70% of the company’s U.S. supply carbon footprint was related to animal-based food purchases, Sodexo’s Campus division committed to making a change. Today’s college students are especially attuned to the environmental and physical benefits of plant-based eating.

Why New York’s (Mostly) Vegan Mayor Wants to Cut the City’s Meat Budget

The city estimates that its food purchases produce as much carbon as the exhaust from 70,000 gas-fueled cars. “We now have to talk about beef. And I don’t know if people are really ready for this
conversation,” said Mayor Eric Adams.

Why some public schools are introducing vegan meals on the sly

While some schools are actively labeling non-meat options, others are quietly offering students the choice. “We just put it all out there as, ‘This is food and it’s good’” says one food service director.

The push for plant-based continues as operators escalate goals

Food service providers for school-aged children are increasing their focus on plant-based offerings for reasons including climate goals, health and cost savings.

10 food trends that will be popular with kids in 2023

Food management company Chartwells K12 reveals food trends from its annual student survey. Included on the list are planet-friendly offerings and plant-based meals.

Special Interests are Sabotaging Child Nutrition Programs

Food industry lobbyists, many from the dairy industry, are putting their own interests ahead of the health of the country’s children. Dairy special interests are nudging out fruit and vegetable requirements in favor of their own products. Healthy salt, fat and sugar limits are other casualties.

Mandatory plant-based milk in schools? Here's why a Louisiana congressman is proposing it.

The prevalence of lactose-intolerance among non-white populations means that the requirement for dairy milk in school lunches amounts to “dietary racism”.

Impossible Foods is Helping California School Cafeterias Add Vegan Options

Impossible Foods introduced two plant-based products designed for school lunch menus shortly after
California announced $100 million in funding to expand plant based and sustainable options in schools.

NYC Recruits Rachel Ray to Create Plant-based School Recipes

New York City is launching a “Chefs Council” led by Rachael Ray to develop more than 100 plant-based recipes for public schools. The recipes for delicious, nutritious, culturally relevant meals are being created with direct input from students and parents.

How Plant-Based School Meal Programs Help Kids Fight Climate Change

Plant-based meal programs in public spaces such as schools can play an important role in changing behaviors that benefit the planet. This concept was noted in a recent report that highlights “super-leverage points” that can trigger larger societal change when it comes to fighting climate change.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz Signs Universal Free School Meals Into Law

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday signed a bill to provide free breakfast and lunch to all Minnesota students at eligible schools…

Plant Powered Meals

The New York City Department of Education is committed to the health and well-being of every child, and proudly provides free, nutritious meals to all New York City public school students every day. The healthy food we provide helps students succeed inside and outside of the classroom…

California allocates $700 million for plant-based school food

Public school systems seek to keep children safe, healthy, and informed, but most school systems fall short ar teaching kids about healthy and environmentally-friendly eating. California Governor Gavin Newson wants to change that, approving a $700 million…

Illinois public schools will serve vegan meals to 2 million students

“Got Milk?” is a slogan American students are familiar with beginning in elementary school. For decades, meat and dairy-centric dishes have overshadowed plant-based foods in cafeterias nationwide, but now, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed a new bill into law that will mandate plant-based school lunches statewide…

Inflation hits the lunch line: How higher costs and supply chain issues are affecting school lunches

High inflation is not only squeezing family budgets across America — it is also hitting school cafeterias. The rising cost of food and ongoing disruptions to the supply chain are shrinking what’s on the menu for students across the country…

The climate benefits of veganism and vegetarianism

In a two-week experiment, BBC Future tracked emissions from a vegan, vegetarian and omnivorous diet – and found some thought-provoking ways to lower emissions from our food...

Want to try veganism? Here's how to get started

Veganism has become hip, in addition to having potential health benefits, like improved heart health and weight loss, from cutting out animal products and increasing vegetables. But it’s a big dietary change, and merely announcing, “I’m vegan” doesn’t take away the lifestyle challenges that can entail...

Billie Eilish leads six-day “overheated” climate event during London tour stop

Billie Eilish is bringing together activists, musicians, and fashion designers for the Overheated climate event to discuss the climate crisis and their work to make a difference...

An early start in plant-based foods can make an impact for life

In a win for Washington state public schools, kids, the environment and animals, Pasado’s Safe Haven successfully helped secure $150,000 in grants and pass-through funding for interested school districts to implement a plant-based lunch pilot program for 2023…

Eating meat is the Western norm. But norms can change

Shifting demand from meat to beans, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds could have substantial benefits for the climate. In 2018, total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide were almost 49 billion metric tons...

Vegan Fridays for all? More schools offer plant-based meals

In February, the New York School System, which serves 1.1 million students in 1,800 school cafeterias, began serving hot, plant-based meals to all students on Fridays following an executive order by the city’s newly elected mayor, Eric Adams…

Eat more plant-based proteins to boost longevity

If you’d like to try a vegan diet but can’t imagine nixing all animal products, consider two recent findings. One, published online July 22, 2020, by The BMJ, comes from researchers at Harvard and Tehran University…

K-12 students want more plant-based options on the menu

“Plant based and plant forward is something [students] want to see, so we get behind it,” says Peter Gilhooly, vice president of culinary at Chartwells K12, noting that he sees interest in plant-based offerings across all grade levels…

Efforts growing to help schools serve plant-based meals

Options are growing for students looking for vegan and vegetarian meals in their school cafeterias…