1200 restaurants participate in Swisstainable Veggie Day
More than 1,200 Swiss restaurants are taking part in Swisstainable Veggie Day, offering their guests the opportunity to contribute to climate protection with a vegetarian menu on World Vegetarian Day, which will be celebrated on October 1, 2022.
With the action day, Switzerland Tourism, or ST for short, is "setting a milestone for sustainable gastronomy with strong partners," according to the organization. Beyond the day, guests should be able to choose vegetarian menu options more often in the future.
Vegetarian cuisine enjoys many benefits and is considered very sustainable. Because vegetarian food demonstrably causes less CO₂, it is therefore a contribution to achieving climate targets. Which fits ideally with the Swisstainable sustainability program. ST is therefore organizing the Swisstainable Veggie Day together with HotellerieSuisse, GastroSuisse, Planted and Eaternity. On Saturday, October 1, World Vegetarian Day, Swiss restaurateurs will put seasonal vegetables at the center of the plate - with a vegetarian menu or an expanded vegetarian offering. With a creative vegetarian menu, they show diners that regionally produced vegetables are more than just a side dish, and that plant-based meat alternatives taste great. The variety of menus served up on this day reflects the broad, gastronomic experience of Switzerland: from starred restaurants to steakhouses, from trendy urban restaurants to rustic mountain huts, everyone is there - over 1200 establishments in all. Even travelers can experience Veggie Day, either in the SBB dining cars or on Swiss International Air Lines and Edelweiss planes. ST addresses guests from Switzerland and abroad with this day of action and provides detailed information on a website set up especially for this purpose MySwitzerland.com/veggieday.
75 tons CO2 saving
According to a current projection by Eaternity, Veggie Day saves 75 tons of CO₂ throughout Switzerland. If the same amount were to be compensated, an additional 252,000 oak trees would be needed, which could remove the 75 tons of CO₂ from the air and store it in one day - that would be an area of about 141 forested soccer fields.
Veggie Day is intended to be more than just a campaign day. In the long term, the measure is intended to strengthen the desire to eat vegetarian food. For example, by expanding and diversifying their vegetarian offerings, or by holding a Veggie Day on their own schedule in the future. In this way, the catering industry is also responding to a need, because the demand for vegetarian or vegan food is rising continuously worldwide. While vegetarians and vegans in Switzerland currently eat about 5 % the proportion of flexitarian (i.e. vegetarian) eaters is on the rise.
As Swisstainable as possible
Martin Nydegger, Director of ST, is pleased with the industry's great interest in Veggie Day: "Despite the pandemic and the shortage of skilled workers, the Swiss restaurant industry is committed to sustainability. We have deliberately kept participation in Veggie Day simple in order to make the step of our sustainability movement Swisstainable palatable to the restaurants." The plan is working: certainly thanks to the call for Veggie Day, the number of registrations at the Swisstainable program increased by 62 % to a total of over 1200 farms.
The fact that so many establishments have registered for the Swisstainable Veggie Day is also due to the commitment of the industry partners GastroSuisse and HotellerieSuisse. Even large companies such as Swiss International Airlines and Edelweiss, the SBB dining cars, McDonald's, Coop restaurants, the Swiss Youth Hostels and the ZFV gastronomy group (with Sorell hotels) are committed to the day of action. Some carry out measures beyond the day, e.g. the SBB subsidiary Elvetino AG with a two-week discount campaign at the beginning of October on vegetarian and vegan menus in all dining cars.
Eating vegetarian has a long tradition in Switzerland: Hiltl, founded in 1898, is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. There is also a lot going on in terms of innovation: The foodtech start-up Planted, for example, successfully produces meat substitute products from plant proteins and is expanding these internationally. The best prerequisites, therefore, for getting local and foreign guests excited about sustainable, vegetarian dining in Switzerland in the longer term as well.
All participating restaurants and more information on the vegetarian lifestyle in Switzerland at MySwitzerland.com/veggieday