One of the world's leading catering companies has launched a plant-based training program to teach more than 1,000 of its chefs to cook tasty, healthy, vegan meals.
Aramark, which describes itself as a 'global leader in food, facilities, and uniforms' has joined forces with charity The Humane Society of the United States [HSUS] in order to provide the training.
According to Aramark, the initiative to conduct a series of plant-based culinary trainings over the next six months, is 'part of its ongoing efforts to develop strategies that increase plant-based food offerings for consumers'.
According to a spokesperson: "Currently, as part of its Healthy for Life 20 By 20 commitment with the American Heart Association, 30 per cent of the main dishes Aramark serves across its dining operations in Healthcare, Higher Education, and Business Dining are vegan or vegetarian, and 10 per cent feature whole grains as their main ingredient.
"The goal of the new training partnership is to further enable the company's 1000+ chefs who serve millions of meals daily in hospitals, schools, and workplaces to create meals, menus and dining concepts that center on foods including vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.
"The curriculum will be developed together with The HSUS and Aramark's culinary leadership, including culinary teams at accounts the company serves. Aramark will also engage with its external advisors, including health & wellness, environmental and animal welfare organizations, to track and report its progress on plant-based food offerings following these trainings."
Recent polling by Aramark consumers showed that more than 60 percent of respondents believe that vegan, vegetarian, and plant-forward (vegetables-as-center-of-the-plate, with smaller portions of meat) options are important.
The vast majority of those consumers also believe these options are better for their health, the environment, and animals.
Dan Wainfan, who leads health and wellness for Aramark, said: "As part of our broad and ongoing commitment to health, wellness and sustainability, we continue to work towards offering more plant-forward menu options, and alternate protein sources to Aramark guests.
"We are proud to work on culinary training and menu innovations which provide important health benefits to consumers, while minimizing our environmental impact."