As diners across the UK seek out more healthy food options, it makes sense for wholesalers to follow the trend and be a significant conduit for them to achieve their goals.
Not all of them are vegetarian but are thinking “plant forward.” Understanding the differences is key to delivering menu options that work. Foodservice specialist Brakes is helping lead the way.
Brakes recently launched a campaign to provide those who serve schools, colleges and universities a new resource to get more acclimated. A new area on their website here can get caterers feeling comfortable with putting together appropriate recipes and menu items.
One of the big myths is that inclusion of more fruits and vegetables can be pricy. But as proteins such as meat have skyrocketed, that actually isn’t true. The switch to fewer of those proteins can also help preserve the environment.
“A plant forward approach is a virtuous circle providing a sustainable, healthy and cost effective way of catering,” said Lisa Johnson, sector marketing manager for education at Brakes. “There is a lot of pressure on food operations to keep costs down and plant forward is a great way of doing that, as it can cut down on the need for expensive centre of plate protein options.”
That’s not to say it’s easy. After all, traditionally those centrepieces have been the foundation with which meals have been built. But Johnson said it’s possible to adjust with a little creativity.
“Simply removing meat from menus is challenging, both in ensuring that you can meet nutritional standards, but also because the food is unfamiliar and therefore not always welcomed by students,” she said. “By creating a hybrid with our plant forward solution, we are able to help address cost, nutrition and hungry students.”
One of the messages Brakes is imparting is the Menus of Change from The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard’s T.C. Chan School of Public Health. The group of leaders across nutrition, dining and industry are focussed on finding solutions that marry health and food. In turn, that can lead to more sustainable and good-for-you menu items.