New York City Hospitals serve plant-based meals

All 11 hospitals run by New York City will now serve plant-based meals by default.

The move came after diet-change-focused nonprofit, The Better Food Foundation, partnered with New York City Hospitals and the Mayor’s Office. The foundation aims to aid healthcare organizations in improving health outcomes while cutting carbon emissions, and decreasing food costs.

The hospitals serve three million meals for lunch and dinner each year. While meat options will still be available to those who want them, the hospitals are offering plant-based dishes for every meal.

The initiative seems to have got off to a successful start, as around 60 percent of patients have chosen the vegan dishes. What’s more, 95 percent of them said they were satisfied with their choice. Only one percent of the patients identified as vegetarian or vegan.

In January of this year, Eric Adams became the 110th mayor of New York City. He gave up eating meat for health reasons, and has previously described himself as an “imperfect vegan.” Since he became mayor, the city has brought in “Plant-Powered Fridays” in schools, introduced fresh produce into the nation’s only municipal emergency food system, and expanded Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Clinics to public hospitals.

Outside of New York, healthcare professionals are also campaigning for more plant-based meals in hospitals. Let’s hope more of them follow the example being set by New York City.