Wholesome Minnesota

Wholesome Minnesota training sessions are held throughout the year

Does your culinary program model your institution’s stated values? We can help. At Wholesome Minnesota we partner with Minnesota institutions providing valuable plant-based culinary resources that elevate health, benefit the environment, reduce expenses and celebrate the diverse culinary traditions of the world. 

We will help you provide and promote plant-based meals that are…

  • Delicious
  • Healthy
  • Sustainable
  • Affordable
  • …and IN DEMAND

Your profession can make a difference…

Food plays a large part in our public health and climate crisis. Institutions have the unique opportunity to  help reduce emissions and curb the increase in chronic, costly, diet-related diseases.  

Health- Healthy food choices are critical to good health, yet only 1 in 10 U.S. adults eat the recommended amount of fruits or vegetables each day, and 1 in 10 American children ages 2 to 17 don’t consume fruits or vegetables at all on a daily basis. Along with low levels of fruit and vegetable intake in the U.S. population overall, there are significant disparities by race, ethnicity, geography, and socio-economic status.

Increasing plant-based options that are not ultra-processed, ensures your customers are eating more fruits and vegetables. By making plant-based accessible, you play a part in your customers’ health and longevity!

Environment- Animal agriculture accounts for 14.5% of all GHG emissions globally. That’s more than the emissions from the entire transportation sector combined! You have the opportunity to make huge impacts on the environment. For example, if every public school swapped out a beef burger for a plant-based burger just once a month, we would save 1.4 BILLION pounds of CO2 a year! Plant-based will help you meet your sustainability goals.

Affordability- Meat is expensive. Whole-food plant-based ingredients such as legumes offer lower cost and a longer shelf-life than conventional animal products, with less price volatility. Studies have shown adopting  a whole foods plant-based diet can save the average person $750/yr.  From a cafeteria perspective, replacing beef with lentils in a Sloppy Joe would save $0.52 per 4 oz. serving. 

Another consideration is health care costs. Adopting a plant-based diet has been shown to fight diabetes, obesity, prostate, breast and colorectal cancers, heart disease, and other chronic diseases that can cost tens of thousands of dollars over a lifetime. It’s possible to add years to life and dollars to the budget by going plant-based. 

Demand- Sustainable, healthy food is in demand. Experts project a 451% increase in the plant-based food market by 2030. Plant-based food sales grew almost 2.5x faster than total food sales from 2018 to 2020. One-third of Americans are actively reducing their meat and dairy consumption. While a small number of Americans identify as vegetarian or vegan, Flexitarians represent the largest growth opportunity for plant-based foods. Flexitarians are those who eat a wide variety of foods and are actively trying to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy. You can meet and even exceed customer expectations by making plant-based options available in your cafeteria or facility.

Wholesome Minnesota connects food service professionals to resources such as:

  • FREE TRAINING: Your team enjoys complimentary training from industry leaders and earns CEUs
  • RECIPES: Explore dozens of consumer-tested, money-saving, NSLP-compliant recipes
  • MARKETING TOOLKITS: Take advantage of free marketing materials
  • ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTS: We can help you demonstrate your commitment to sustainability with a report on how increasing the number of plant-based meals served is reducing your carbon footprint

Contact Jodi Gruhn now at wholesome.minnesota@exploreveg.org, or (612) 702-1756. We will help you reduce your food cost, lessen your impact on the environment, improve human health and meet consumer expectations. 

At Wholesome Minnesota, we build awareness about the health, environmental and cost benefits of increasing plant-based food options in institutional settings and partner with national organizations to provide resources to educate and facilitate implementation. Our goal is to support  better health outcomes for Minnesotans and reduce the impact of climate change in Minnesota and beyond.

Contact Jodi Gruhn at wholesome.minnesota@exploreveg.org, or (612) 702-1756. 

Wholesome Minnesota

℅ Compassionate Action for Animals

2100 1st Avenue South, Suite 200

Minneapolis, MN 55404

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