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Humane Society taking the lead in the US with more veg meals

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has an initiative now being adapted by the Human Society International UK (HSIUK), which delivers “culinary workshops” to skill up and inspire chefs through showcasing a variety of vegan ingredients for plant-based dishes. The content of each workshop is adapted depending on expertise of participants and budgetary constraints.

 

Background

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is spearheading a ‘plant-based eating revolution’, encouraging 200 school districts across America, and other large scale catering operations including hospitals and prisons, to implement Meatless Mondays in part through engagement with chefs and other culinary professionals. This has resulted in an estimated 137 million meals being switched from meaty to meat-free. Expanding this strategy globally, Humane Society International (HSI) is now running institution-focussed meat reduction programmes around the world.

 

UK Plan

Building on the highly successful outreach executed by US colleagues, HSI UK will be reaching out to British catering companies and higher education establishments, encouraging and supporting them in making their menus more plant-based. The primary mechanism for this will be offering free plant-based culinary training workshops.

Forward Food culinary training workshops are designed to educate, enthuse and equip chefs from the world of institutional catering with the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm they need to reduce their reliance on animal products and serve healthier, tasty plant-based food. By doing so, not only will they make their menus more sustainable and healthy, but they will also reduce costs, and of course, reduce investment in and reliance on animal products, making the initiative a win-win solution for people, animals and planet.

HSUK’s overarching Goal

In line with a target set by the HSUS, HSI UK will encourage food service providers to work towards reducing meat procurement by (at least) 20 per cent over two years.

The culinary training programme has been devised, and is overseen by chef, author and teacher, Jenny Chandler who in 2016 was nominated by the United Nations to act as Special Ambassador for its International Year of Pulses promotions.

Work in the UK so far

In December 2016, HSI UK held a pilot culinary training workshop at Compass Group UK & Ireland in Chertsey. The event was attended by seven chefs from across Compass Group’s sectors and was held in the development kitchen. Showcasing a variety of ingredients and techniques, the workshop ran for two full days and featured talks, presentations and hands-on cooking sessions.