Going Veg in the Workplace

Google food serviceThis time it’s Google that’s changing its cafeteria for the better. For the last year and a half, Google’s food department has been on a mission to cut down on meat. A “plant-centric diet is good for the environment and is good for your health,” said Michiel Bakker, director of the Global Food Program at Google. “So if we can move more people to eat less meat and to enjoy more vegetables, the rest will follow.”

To get there Google is taking a gradual approach. Their first step is to substitute healthy plant foods that are rich in flavor, from ethnic cuisines from around the world such as Indian, Latin American, Thai and Greek.

They are currently educating their chefs about ways to substitute vegetables for meat, without making Google’s pampered employees feel like they’re missing out. “For example, there’s a way to grill cauliflower that gives it some of the same rich flavor found in grilled meats,” Bakker said. Google’s also turning to regional cuisines from places like India, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean that use less meat than traditional Western diets.

While the new program started at its office in California, it’s slowly being implemented in Google’s cafeterias all around the world. Eventually, the company hopes to get its employees interested in food and how it relates to health and the environment.

A plant-based diet is not just good for health and the environment. It’s also good for the bottom line. In a study of workers, GEICO insurance company doctors found that those on a plant-based diet reported a 40-46% decrease in health-related productivity impairments at work. It turns out that veg diets are good for the environment, business and you.