About Menus Of Change

Menus of Change: The Business of Healthy, Sustainable, Delicious Food Choices is a ground-breaking initiative developed by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Together, the CIA and Harvard are working to create a long-term, practical vision for the integration of optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice sector and beyond.

Menus of Change is an ongoing initiative composed of a variety of elements. At its core are our Principles of Healthy, Sustainable Menus. These provide chefs and foodservice leaders with menu and recipe guidance related to health and sustainability, along with business strategies that integrate both environmental and nutrition science imperatives.

CIA and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health also host a leadership summit each June and produce an annual report.

Each year, the Menus of Change Annual Report is developed in collaboration with leading scientists and business experts, who sit on the initiative's Scientific and Technical Advisory Council and Sustainable Business Leadership Council, to ensure the report reflects the most current and accurate evidence available. Read our 2016 report, which includes a State of the Plate Dashboard showing the industry's progress on a set of critical issues at the intersection of public health and nutrition, environmental sustainability, and business. The report also includes analyses of those issues and case studies featuring companies that have successfully combined sustainability and profit.

Throughout the year, we also publish frequent insights on news, research, and other happenings related to key issues and principles, as well as resources for foodservice professionals. Subscribe to our blog insights here.

The goals of Menus of Change: The Business of Healthy, Sustainable, Delicious Food Choices are far-reaching:

  • To create a world-class structure of collaboration among leaders in nutrition research and public health, the environmental sciences and sustainability, the culinary arts and business innovation;
  • To consider new models of food and foodservice innovation that anticipate future imperatives and are economically viable;
  • To provide the next generation of culinary and business leaders with the skills and knowledge to work at the intersection of healthful food, environment concerns, and social responsibility.

A Brief Overview

Food is a lens through which we see the world. It is integral to our traditions, our celebrations, and our culture. 

Our food choices—what we eat and what we serve our families—influence our health and the health of our planet. These choices are linked to both acute and chronic disease prevention and control. These same choices affect the livelihoods of more than one billion people around the world who work each day to produce and serve our food.

Half of all meals consumed in America today are prepared by culinary professionals. Chefs and culinary leaders are assuming ever larger, more pivotal roles in integrating key imperatives of taste, health, the environment, community, business, and economics.

We’re asking a lot of these chefs and foodservice operators. And in the future, we will ask more:

  • How can we make the most delicious foods healthful and environmentally sustainable as well?
  • What if America's most talented chefs and today’s culinary students were to collaborate with scientists and business leaders to find business-friendly solutions to our obesity and healthcare crises and food security challenges around the globe?
  • How can chefs and restaurateurs work in partnership with nutrition and medical experts, and environmental scientists to help the business community develop new models of innovation—and new, long-term business strategies—around opportunities for the future of food and foodservice?

With issues and leaders like these in mind, Menus of Change aims to spark new insights and develop innovative solutions.

For a complete overview of Menus of Change in pdf format, click here.