Food Choices – Life Cycle Practices Assessment Results

Thank you for completing the Hazon Seal Food Choices – Life Cycle Practices Assessment!

The suggestions below are based on your responses to the assessment, and are designed to get you thinking about what sort of projects your organization should consider to improve its sustainability impact. You are not required to take on all or even any of the suggestions offered.

Recommendations based on assessment taken May 5, 2022

  • Providing adequate plant-based options at all meals is not just a matter of environmental impact, but also about inclusivity for those who are vegetarian. We suggest making this a standard practice. If providing delicious, nutritionally-balanced vegetarian main dishes seems difficult, check out the numerous recipe resources in our Transition to Plant Rich Diets toolkit and check your local library or bookstore for cookbooks.
  • There are lots of way to raise animals for food and some practices are definitely worse and others better for the environment (and for the animals). Unfortunately, many labeling practices are unregulated and many labels can be meaningless. It is the case that animal products that are pasture-raised, grass-fed, grass-finished, cage free, free range, and/or regenerative are better than those from factory farms. But, it can be hard to know what labels and certifications are truly meaningful. It is for these reasons that Hazon emphasizes the “less” part of going “less and better” with animal products. But there is value in working on “better” and if you are interested in this, we suggest you read the regenerative agriculture section of the Transition to Plant-Rich Diets toolkit to learn more.
  • Because of the extremely high environmental impact of farming and processing animal products, fully plant-based (or vegan) food is a way is to significantly reduce one’s greenhouse gas emissions. That said, many people think it is impossible, at least for them. But, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing; an organization doesn’t have to become fully plant-based 100% of the time. By sometimes (even regularly) serving balanced vegan meals, your organization stands not only to reduce its own environmental impact, but also demonstrate the viability of a plant-centric diet to its staff and/or members. This also makes you more inclusive to vegans in your community. We suggest you you increase the frequency of vegan meals and see our Transition to Plant Rich Diets toolkit for resources to support you.
  • When food waste decomposes in a landfill, it releases large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times as potent as CO2. A great way to reduce food waste is to proactively address leftovers. Some good options we suggest are: sending food home with community members, donating food to food banks or other charities, and/or being creative with how leftovers could be preserved and used at a future event. Check out our Food Waste Reduction toolkit for more information.