Compass Group Promotes Meat-Free Meals

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 5, 2010)—Beginning immediately, Compass Group, the world’s largest food-service company, will expand the variety and supply of meat-free options for its customers, promoting healthier, more-sustainable and more-humane eating in its “Be a Flexitarian” initiative.

 Compass Group executives worked closely with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to develop the program, which will promote “flexitarian” eating in the company’s 8,500 U.S. corporate and academic food service cafeterias. This initiative to promote the incorporation of more meat-free meals is the largest corporate program of its kind in the world.

 A “flexitarian” is someone who actively integrates meatless meals into his or her diet when possible but isn’t a full-time vegetarian.

“Compass Group recognizes that there should be more options in the marketplace for conscious consumers,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS. “It doesn’t take an all-or-nothing approach to make a major impact, and giving customers more meat-free meal choices will improve health, reduce the impact of global warming and help animals.”

Compass-operated dining operations now showcase meatless foods like veggie burgers, burritos, pastas and stir fries. Many choices feature vegetarian meat alternatives.

“Compass Group is committed to providing healthy meals and building sustainable communities, and our new flexitarian initiative is a great step toward achieving both of these goals,” stated Cheryl Queen, Compass Group vice president of corporate communications. “We’re delighted to have this opportunity to highlight the culinary versatility of meat-free foods that promote better health and preserve the environment.”

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization reported that animal agriculture contributes 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions—more than all forms of transportation combined.

This isn’t the first time Compass Group has acted to improve the lives of animals. In 2007, the company switched all its shell (whole) eggs to cage-free for its U.S. clients.

According to Deanne Brandstetter, VP Nutrition and Wellness, Compass Group, “Eating flexitarian can have a positive impact on your health. Vegetable sources of protein, especially legumes and grains, are packed with vitamins, minerals, 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.”