November 30, 2016
By Judy Moores
COOL Cuisine is a coalition of local individuals and organizations who enjoy eating “plant-based” meals that has attracted hundreds of followers on Facebook and Meetup.com.
COOL Cuisine’s mission is to encourage local restaurants to increase the number of plant-based menu choices. To this end, it sponsors monthly “3rd Thurs” meet-ups and special events at restaurants to demonstrate that demand exists. Attendance is building and those who come — about 30-35 each time — fill up a different local eating spot each month.
While 3rd Thurs takes place in Davis, COOL Cuisine recently launched the “Sac Lunch Bunch” for people who work and live in downtown/midtown Sacramento and plans to add a “Davis Lunch Bunch” in January as a joint venture with the Yolo Interfaith Climate Justice Coalition.
Plant-based diets are the low carbon way to eat
Plant-based diets are the most environmentally sustainable, low carbon way to eat. The food can be delicious and healthy, and, as founder Anya McCann notes, “We like to focus on using the term plant-based because many of our supporters are not necessarily vegan or even vegetarian. Some eat less animal products for their heath — including some who have suffered from cancer or have heart disease. We also have animal compassion folks who consider this a lifestyle/morality choice.”
She continues, “At least half the people who attend our events do not eat this way 100% of the time. And some consider themselves allies who like to vote with their dollars for the environment. It takes all kinds to make an effort like this work. We provide a fun, social way to meet that goal and folks don’t even have to cook!! Just show up and your vote counts!“
No pressure, just a lot of fun
“3rd Thurs folks are a very welcoming group of people. There is no pressure to lead a vegan lifestyle. However, if you are seeking or transitioning to have more plant-based meals over time, people you meet at our events have tons of resources to help anyone who is interested to try it at home.”
According to the Sierra Club, “If Americans reduced meat consumption by just 20 percent, it would be as though we all switched from a sedan to a hybrid.”
Anya says “Every new tasty plant-based item on a menu means that many omnivores might choose that option (rather than meat) sometimes, too, so that overall, less animal products are consumed. We feel this mission is an important contribution to environmental sustainability!”
Local restaurants encouraged to offer more plant-based options
The main lament of COOL Cuisine folks as well as others in town seeking a more plant-based diet is their frustration with a perceived lack choice at local restaurants.
Anya suggests, “Local restaurants need to improve their ‘welcome mat’ for this fast-growing clientele. It would be great to have at least 2-3 meals worth of plant-based items on the menu of every restaurant as well as knowledgeable wait-staff and chefs.”
To encourage restaurant owners and managers to meet the needs of plant-based diners, COOL Cuisine offers restaurants free advertising to their Davis outreach of about 800 people and a regional reach to 5,000 on social media.
Just send a logo jpeg file, brief descriptions of plant-based entrees, and any ads for new items to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about events, check out coolcuisine.net, like Cool Cuisine on Facebook, or sign up on Meetup.com.
Cool Davis welcomes COOL Cuisine as a new Cool Davis Coalition partner, and thanks them for their work promoting diets that are good for our health and the health of Earth, too.
Let them know you found out about them through Cool Davis!
Local businesses, organizations, and other groups are welcome to apply to become a Cool Davis Partner.
Learn more about How to Become a Cool Davis Partner.
Click here for a full list of Cool Davis Partners.3rd Thurs, COOL Cuisine, local restaurants, plant-based diet, Sac Lunch Bunch, vegan, vegetarian