Just Salad Will Be the First US Chain to Include Carbon Emissions on Menu
Whether it’s the Protein Vegan Salad packed with 20 grams of satiating protein, the Tokyo Supergreens Salad with Tofu, or the Umami Bowl, there’s no shortage of tantalizing dishes for the plant-based set to choose from at Just Salad.
Now, we’re excited to learn that the fast-casual restaurant chain has joined forces with an NYU Stern Solutions MBA Team to calculate carbon emissions for all its menu items to inspire people to make “climate-smart” eating choices. Just Salad’s carbon footprint labels will reflect the total estimated greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of the ingredients for each menu item to encourage its customers to think about how their eating choices impact our environment.
(Spoiler alert: If you’re eating vegan, you’re doing it right.) The brand has pledged to add these carbon footprint labels by Climate Week, which starts on September 21st—and the move will mark the first such effort by a U.S. restaurant chain. The carbon labels will initially be published on Just Salad’s online menu at orderjustsalad.com.
“Our food choices will have a profound effect on the fate of our planet. By carbon labeling our menu, we’re embracing climate-smart eating, helping our guests eat for planetary and human health. A calorie label simply isn’t enough anymore—we need to know how our food choices affect our well-being at a planetary level,” said Sandra Noonan, Chief Sustainability Officer of Just Salad, in a company press release. “Our new carbon labels will provide that insight, helping guests make more holistic choices that take climate change into account.”
Echoing that sentiment, Diego Rose, professor, and director of nutrition at Tulane University adds, “Labeling our menus about the carbon footprint of producing different dishes is a vitally important way to educate consumers about sustainable diets I’m excited to see an innovative restaurant, like Just Salad, take the lead on this. We need the food industry to step up, and hopefully, they can show that doing well by the planet can also be good for the bottom line.”
In the same press release, the company states that this initiative came about thanks to the "climatarianism” movement, which includes adhering to a diet geared to promote planetary health. Vegan eating, of course, plays a key role in ensuring the earth’s welfare, since plant-based diets are one of the greatest tools we all can adopt to protect against climate change. “By halving annual consumption of animal-based products, Americans would reduce diet-related greenhouse gas emissions by 35% and move the U.S. 25% closer to its targets under the Paris Climate Agreement,” the media statement continues, noting that Just Salad’s Reusable Bowl program is also an effort the company has in place to promote the planet’s wellbeing.
In addition to this news, Just Salad also shared that they plan to add plant-based cheese options to their menu by 2022 or earlier, on the heels of their successful introduction of Beyond Beef last year. Worth noting: Beyond Beef’s vegan beef substitute creates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional beef. Pretty neat, huh? Even neater: When you go plant-based, here’s how much it lowers your carbon footprint. We don’t know about you, but we have a feeling there’s going to be a lot more Just Salad Tokyo Supergreens in our future.