This week, 24 Pennsylvania legislators sent a demand letter to Stephen Sadove—the new CEO of leading food-service company Aramark. The lawmakers urged Sadove to implement a 20-percent reduction of animal products served in the next two years by Aramark, particularly in hospitals, corporate cafeterias, and college campuses. In 2015, Aramark made a five-year commitment to serve healthier food to its customer base, and in 2016, reported that 30 percent of its menus were either vegetarian or vegan. In 2017, Aramark partnered with animal-rights organization The Humane Society of the United States on an initiative to train 1,000 of its chefs in plant-based cooking. In the letter, legislators said that “Your pilot program to train chefs in plant-based menus and your partnership with the American Heart Association to reduce foods containing high levels of saturated fats, many of which are also climate-intensive, are significant first steps toward reducing the global warming impact of Aramark’s menus,” before asking that Aramark take additional action. The lawmakers pointed to the role of animal agriculture in fueling the climate crisis and the negative health effects associated with the consumption of animal products. “Aramark can reduce its food emissions by cutting purchases of climate change-intensive foods and replacing them with produce, legumes, or whole grains,” the letter states. “This commitment will also help reduce food waste, which will also help meet aggressive global warming emissions reduction targets.” The lawmakers requested that Aramark track its progress in reducing animal products on its menus, ending their letter by stating that Aramark’s customers “deserve food that nourishes them today and invests in their future health.”
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