Our nutrition team understands the importance of food to our patients’ health, and the impact food purchasing can have on the environment. 75% of our beef and poultry are raised without antibiotics, and our vegan and vegetarian options have expanded beyond Meatless Mondays to include Beyond Meat (a local Los Angeles company based in El Segundo) vegan burgers and plant-forward entrees. We also provide vegan patient menus to encourage our patients to eat both healthy and address the environmental impact of their food choices. To encourage more salad consumption we decreased the price of the salad bar from $6.99 to $4.99, and we have eliminated the sale of deep fried foods from our menus. Low or no sugar beverage options are available including organic, cold-pressed juices, and in October of 2021, all beverages are will no longer be sold in plastic bottles as part of the single-use plastics policy ban, which will eliminates a significant amount of plastic waste.
UCLA Health also signed on to the “Cool Food Pledge.” Pledge members commit to a target of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with the food they serve bymy 25% by 2030 relative to a 2015 baseline. We report food purchase amounts by weight each year, including all animal-based foods, as well as plant proteins, which make up around 80-90% of our food-related greenhouse gas emissions.