WASHINGTON -- Compass Group is hoping to set a new trend in foodservice with the launch of its “Be a Flexitarian” initiative, developed in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States. The contract foodservice giant describes a “flexitarian” as someone who actively incorporates meatless meals in his or her diet when possible, but isn’t a full-time vegetarian.
The new program, which officials say is the largest of its kind in the corporate world, will expand the variety of meat-free options with menu items like veggie burgers, burritos, pastas and stir fries that promote healthier, more sustainable and "more humane" eating. It is currently launching in all 8,500 U.S. corporate and academic foodservice cafeterias served by Compass.
According to the company, eating "flexitarian" can have a positive impact on health since vegetable sources of protein, especially legumes and grains, are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and are good sources of more healthful unsaturated fats. They also have no cholesterol, are generally low in saturated fat and often are lower in calories than animal proteins.
"Flexitarian" eating also reduces the impact of "factory farms," which the Humane Society says raise and kill more than nine billion farm animals in the U.S. each year and pollute the environment. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization reported that animal agriculture contributes 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions.