Massive Food Waste: City Council Goes Vegan, But Nobody Wants to Eat it

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The city of Cambridge in the UK has reported excessive food waste after the public didn’t touch the vegan meals provided at events by the city council, which began phasing out meat and dairy last year in the name of climate change.

The Cambridge council phased out meat and dairy products at public events last year and switched to vegan food in an effort, they say, to fight climate change and was lauded for the policy at the time.

However, a new report to the council has revealed that the vast majority of the public has shown little interest in the vegan food options provided by the council when it laid on spreads and that nearly all the vegan food put out by the city at events had not been touched at all, the Times newspaper reports.

The report mentioned there had been “significant food waste” and claimed that some guests of events felt pressured to try the food due to posters located near it stating the alleged effects of meat production on the climate, and that others had been left hungry because there had not been much food that the public wanted to actually consume.

The report highlighted the Remembrance Day event last November, which contained half vegan and half meat and dairy sandwiches and cakes.

“There was extremely low uptake of plant-based food options: under 10 per cent of people tried these options whilst the vegetarian options and meat/dairy options were all eaten,” the report said and added, “The low uptake of the plant-based options resulted in an insufficient amount of food available at the event that people wanted to eat.”

The report comes as the council set a goal to eliminate all non-vegan food by 2026 and a spokesperson stated the council was still “committed to tackling the climate emergency,” despite the apparent failure of the vegan food options.

Vegan alternatives to meat have struggled in many countries despite marketing efforts. The US-based company Beyond Meat had products appear in many fast food giants, including Mcdonald’s but lost 83 per cent of its stock price last year according to a November report as sales slumped.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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