An intervention program to promote sustainable healthy consumption in foodservice
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Coimbra Health School, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra Portugal
Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Porto Portugal
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A815
Background and Objective:
The impact of animal source food consumption and food waste on the food sustainability reinforce the adoption of more sustainable diets, being essential to reduce animal protein sources consumption. This study aims to implement an intervention program in order to increase the consumption of vegetable-based meals and reduce food waste in foodservice.

The program was implemented in two business companies. Before intervention, weighing of the individual portions of animal-protein sources and food waste evaluation (leftovers and plate waste) were performed during 8 days. In order to improve the food supply, a guide of vegetarian recipes was prepared and training was given to the foodservice teams by dietitians and a Chef. Awareness materials and videos were developed and posted in the canteen and social networks to encourage adhesion to a more sustainable diet. The consumption of vegetarian dishes and food waste was monitored before and during the intervention.

The food waste obtained before intervention was 245.8kg, presenting the animal-protein sources a total of 80.3 kg for plate waste and 10.8 kg for leftovers. Plate waste per consumer varied between 12g and 125g, being the most wasted dishes, those that use more natural resources in their production, such as cow and pork-based dishes. Regarding consumption, 2.1% of participants reported to be vegetarians, 34% never consume the vegetarian dish in the canteen, and 28% consume less than once a month. Only 23% of the participants reported consuming vegetables at least once a day. During intervention, it was observed an 45% increase in the choice of vegetarian dishes replacing animal protein sources.

The intervention program leads to an increase in the consumption of vegetarian dishes and a decrease in animal-protein sources food waste. This intervention must be reproduced in other canteens contributing to a more sustainable food system.

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