Plant-based popularity seems ever-growing

Plant-based eating has moved into the mainstream in recent years, as demonstrated by a 2018 national survey conducted by Dalhousie University which found British Columbia is leading the dietary revolution. The survey found that nearly 40 per cent of British Columbians 35 and under say they follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.

In North America, a growing number of schools, hospitals, food service providers, businesses and municipalities are recognizing and acting on the collective impact of our food choices, and as a result are embracing the plant-based movement.

At least 16 U.S. cities and counties have included meat-reduction efforts in their climate change mitigation strategies. For example, Santa Monica, California’s climate action plan commits the municipality to reducing meat and dairy purchases by 15% and Portland, Oregon’s climate action plan commits to increasing institutional purchases of healthy, climate-friendly food at public meetings, events, and in government facilities. 

In the U.S., Chartwells and Morrison Health Care committed to shifting 20% of menu offerings to plant-based by 2020; the University of Guelph in Ontario is working to replace 20% of meat protein with plant-based proteins; and Western University in Ontario is aiming for 55% of menu options to be based on plant proteins.

Metro Vancouver has seen amazing progress in recent months. In November 2021, the City of Vancouver unanimously passed a motion to shift 20% of animal-based purchasing to plant-based, citing a report from the Vancouver Humane Society. The District of North Vancouver passed another plant-forward motion in March citing the same report.

Amaga Food, a North Vancouver food service provider for several secondary schools, has also committed to transitioning 20% of menu offerings to plant-based. To date, 16 secondary and post-secondary schools throughout Metro Vancouver have also worked to increase their plant-based offerings through initiatives like Meatless Monday.

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Find tools and tips to advocate for more plant-based options in your area here.

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