Innovative Bites

November 10, 2020

In the ongoing quest for safer food alternatives, the impulse to evolve from old to new is stronger than ever with higher stakes. People are tapping into a CTRL+ALT+CREATE state of being for inspired creations, alternative methods, and “better for you” innovations that curb COVID-19 infection and planetary destruction.

What could be better for you than menus that underscore their environmental impact? With a refreshed spin on calorie counts, Panera Bread is the first national brand helping people make eco-conscious food decisions through noting menu items with a “Cool Food Meal” badge. Calculated with help from non-profit World Resources Institute, the score behind the badge is earned only by meals with a carbon footprint less than 5.38 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Putting environmental data on the forefront of decision making brings people one step closer to a safer planet.

People are also creating inspired and safe solutions to accommodate social distancing. While the pandemic has restaurants reimagining dining room layouts, one Michelin-rated restaurant totally re-envisioned the dining experience. Last month, Costes in Budapest Hungary offered guests a four-course dining opportunity on the Budapest Eye Ferris Wheel, providing a unique socially distanced experience. Seizing the opportunity of a lull in tourism, the restaurant provided a once-in-a-lifetime experience during this peculiar time and plans to restart in warmer months.

Creative twists on food are also in the works. With people’s reliance on animal agriculture being the leading cause of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water and air pollution, an overarching goal of migrating away from dairy is in full swing. Making the impossible possible, Impossible Foods is determined to perfect plant-based milk. Despite the plethora of alternatives on the market, no substitute truly matches the consistency and taste of cow’s milk. Thus, the brand plans on using a portion of the $700 million raised this year to double its research and development team over the next 12 months.

Brands can creatively innovate, too. An electronic devices brand can explore ways to score and rate their products based on their environmental impact to create an “eco-friendly seal of approval.” Consider various factors like ease of recyclability of metals and polymers or carbon footprint to give people informed options for an eco-conscious future.

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