Google’s Quest To Develop A Plant-Based “Power Dish” More Popular Than Meat

Source: Fast Company
Author: Adele Peters

If you work at Google’s Sunnyvale campus–like its other offices–lunch presents a multitude of choices. Fourteen separate employee cafes serve everything from pho to braised lamb or grilled trout, all free. But each restaurant also subtly nudges diners to make one choice in particular: eat less meat.

On a Friday afternoon, a cafe called BRGR lists a vegan burger first on its menu for the day; another burger, highlighted in a box in a center of the menu, is a “blended” version that uses mushrooms along with beef in the patty, reducing the total amount of meat. At a Vietnamese cafe, vegetable broth is listed before meat in the options for pho. And in a Mexican cafe, a chef is testing a new recipe for a vegan taco explicitly designed to compete with more popular meat-based dishes.

The nudges fit into Google’s broader sustainability vision. This year, the company will hit its goal of purchasing 100% renewable energy, and it recognizes that meat consumption is also an important part of its carbon footprint. (By one estimate, raising livestock for meat, dairy, and eggs is responsible for 14.5% percentage of global emissions).