The 2024 Paris Olympics: A Plant-Forward Revolution

Paris 2024 Olympics to Replace 50% of Animal Proteins with Plant-Based Options

The 2024 Paris Olympics is set to be a game-changer in sustainability, aiming to cut carbon emissions in half by incorporating more plant-based foods into their catering services. This year’s games are not only about sports but also about promoting environmental responsibility, with a significant focus on plant-forward dining options.

A Sustainable Approach to Catering

With a goal of serving 13 million meals this summer, the Paris 2024 Olympics will be the world’s largest catering event. Organizers are committed to making at least 50% of meals vegetarian and replacing 50% of animal proteins with plant-based proteins for volunteers, employees, suppliers, the media, and athletes. For fans, 60% of meals at food and beverage outlets will be vegetarian, reflecting the different needs and expectations of spectators and athletes, according to Food Vision, the games’ organizing body.

Support from ProVeg International

ProVeg International, a food awareness organization, has strongly supported this initiative. Jasmijn de Boo, Global CEO of ProVeg International, emphasized the importance of plant-based diets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Plant-based diets emit half as much greenhouse gas as animal-based food. It is essential that globally recognized events like the Olympics set an example by increasing the availability of climate-friendly food,” she stated.

Overcoming Legislative Challenges

Despite the French government’s recent decree banning plant-based products from using “meaty” terms, which was suspended by the higher court, the Paris Olympics are pushing forward with their plant-based agenda. This move is expected to inspire other countries to promote plant-based foods as part of their climate action strategies.

Health and Environmental Benefits

Research from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine highlights numerous benefits of plant-based diets for athletes, including promoting heart health and having anti-inflammatory effects. Plant-based diets are typically low in fat, high in fiber, and rich in antioxidants, making them ideal for high-performance athletes.

Beyond Plant-Based: Additional Sustainable Measures

France’s sustainable food strategy includes using 80% seasonal and local ingredients and ensuring 80% of unavoidable food waste is recovered for composting or anaerobic digestion. The games are also moving away from single-use plastics, responding to the preferences of 90% of athletes surveyed. These measures aim to build a legacy of more sustainable catering.

Flavor, Creativity, and Environmental Messaging

Sodexo Live!, the caterer for the Athlete’s Village and various venues, has been working with chefs and artisan food producers to ensure the food is flavorful and creative. Environmental information about recipes will be available at food outlets to encourage sustainable dining choices.

Commitment to Sustainable Games

Georgina Grenon, director of the environmental excellence team at Paris 2024, stated, “Our commitments for Paris 2024 are a tangible application of our vision for more sustainable games. By setting a carbon budget for each meal, making commitments with partners and suppliers, and setting quantified targets, we aim to drive progress and create a legacy in collective and events catering.”

The 2024 Paris Olympics is not just about celebrating athletic excellence but also about championing sustainability and setting a precedent for future global events.

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