If we’re talking about changing food systems on a national scale, there are forces perhaps even larger than fast food: institutional food-service providers like Aramark and Sodexo. The sheer scale of these companies—which serve school cafeterias, corporate lunchrooms, and stadiums—gives them massive sway when it comes to what America eats.
Today, we can truly say that vegan meat-alternatives have gone mainstream, as Sodexo announces it will debut an entire menu of Impossible dishes at 1,500 institutions nationwide. (To give you a sense of Sodexo’s reach, they’re in 80 countries and provide food services at 34,000 sites.) According to a press release, the menu includes a “sausage” muffin sandwich, gravy and biscuits, a steakhouse burger, a Creole burger, tandoori burger, and more. The menu will be available at hospitals, universities, and corporate campuses beginning August 19.
In its announcement, Sodexo cites not just Impossible Burger’s “high consumer approval rating,” but its environmental reductions. Compared to a standard beef burger, the meat alternative “used 96 percent less land, 87 percent less water and 89 percent less greenhouse-gas emissions,” Sodexo notes.
First, the Impossible Whopper rolled out nationally; in a few weeks, you’ll theoretically be able to find Impossible Burgers everywhere from an office complex in Pensacola, Florida to a minor-league baseball game in Des Moines, Iowa. That’s mainstream.