This morning research was published that shows a ‘Planetary health diet’ could avert premature deaths, reduce the effects of climate change and protect the Earth.
Today we are launching Planet LOVe – a movement for the whole restaurant industry to get behind.
It has three key areas:
1. A commitment to more plant-based menu items
2. Working towards renewable energy sources to power restaurants, kitchens and even the supply chain
3. Less plastic – a promise to reduce plastic and enhance recycling, composting or biodegradable options for fast casual to limit the impact of waste on the planet
We have already achieved significant progress in providing more vegetarian and vegan dishes on our menu. Today’s breakfast dishes are 20% more plant-based than in 2017 (74%) with a 33% rise since 2017 on the lunch menu (48% of dishes are currently vegetarian or vegan).
But John, our co-founder and CEO, believes a more radical approach is required and despite all the barriers to achieving it, we have no choice; “Restaurants have a big impact on the planet, as almost half of what British people spend on food, is with us. In 2017, the UK spent £49 billion on food and drink (not including alcohol) purchased and consumed outside the home. Therefore it is vital the industry finds ways of reducing our environmental impact – inspiring food growers, producers and ultimately consumers, to believe that they can do the same.
“At LEON, we have three focus areas; less red meat and more veg, renewable energy and less plastic. We encourage ‘more veg, less meat’ as a principle throughout our menu – we are by no means saying you can’t eat meat with a meal, but we do encourage balance. Even sustainably sourced meat has a higher carbon and water footprint than most vegetarian or vegan alternatives, so whether you want to eat some meat or no meat at all, the fact remains that we should be eating more plants, both in quantity and variety.
“If we are to encourage our guests to eat more plant-based, then we need to offer them a better variety of food choices – so we try to make our plant-based options as delicious as our meat options. We recently launched our LOVe Burger – a new and completely plant-based patty in a bun, designed to support a healthy gut. This is our first new addition for 2019’s Year of LOVe – a year in which we will introduce a number of dishes that are kind to our bodies as well as being kind to the planet.
“Food is a right and a necessity, so together we can all make better choices and develop better eating habits so it is more sustainable. We rely on the natural world for our health and our happiness, so it is vital we are kinder to it.”