Issue Briefs

The Issue Briefs listed below are taken directly from the 2016 Menus of Change Annual Report so they are easier for you to study and share. To read the full brief, simply click on the title. To download a PDF of any of the Issue Briefs, click on the link at the top of each article. We hope will use the direct tweeting option, too, and add your own comments, spreading the information from the report to your followers.

Our State-of-the-Plate Dashboard summarizes the Issue Briefs and is the centerpiece of Menus of Change. It provides a concise analysis of the 16 issues that sit at the intersection of public health, the environment, and the business of food.

These briefs synthesize the latest health and environmental data to provide a clear picture of the industry’s challenges and opportunities, as well as practical next steps for foodservice operations. The report also assigns each issue a score that rates the industry’s efforts in these critical areas.

METHODOLOGY

The scores were developed based on the expert opinions of the Menus of Change Scientific and Technical Advisory Council, who considered new research findings and trend data as well as innovations and change in business practices and policies, and were reviewed by members of the Menus of Change Sustainable Business Leadership Council to ensure they reflected new industry initiatives and practices.


The key for the scores is in the sidebar at right. To read the full brief, simply click on the title. To download a PDF of any of them, click on the link at the top of each article. The copyright for all Issue Briefs is the following:

© 2016 The Culinary Institute of America and President and Fellows of Harvard College

Innovations in the Food Industry

Tue, June 14, 2016
​The foodservice industry is transforming rapidly to meet consumer demand for healthy, transparent, and convenient food.
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Supply Chain Resiliency and Transparency

Tue, June 14, 2016
​In 2015, the food industry saw advances in how food suppliers are responding to increased consumer attention on food sourcing. Greater awareness among consumers has led to demands for more specific food sourcing information . . .
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Changes in Investment Standards for the Food Industry among Professional Investors

Tue, June 14, 2016
​Until a decade ago, few investors believed that a company’s sustainability performance was tied to its financial performance . . .
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Chefs’ Influence on Consumer Attitudes

Tue, June 14, 2016
In the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot 2016 Culinary Forecast, which surveyed 1,600 chefs, nine out of the top ten trends revolve around health and sustainability, with some form of local sourcing occupying three of the first four spots.
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Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors About Healthy and Sustainable Food

Tue, June 14, 2016
Contradictory headlines about nutrition continue unabated. Inconsistent claims abound about the health versus risk of sodium, saturated fat, sugar, carbohydrates, meat, GMO foods, and organic foods. It can be hard not to become skeptical . . .
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Local Food and the Farm to Table Movement

Tue, June 14, 2016
The farm-to-table movement leapt into the mainstream in the early 2000s, as food activists around the country strove to develop strong connections between restaurants and local farming communities. Consumers seek... read more
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Animal Welfare

Tue, June 14, 2016
The decline in animal welfare is inversely proportional to increases in yield and efficiency. The use of hormones, antibiotics, and changes in feedstock have led cattle, pigs, and chickens to grow faster and bigger . . .
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Portion Size and Caloric Intake

Tue, June 14, 2016
Although it seems intuitive to link the larger portions to Americans’ growing waistlines, the relationship between calorie quantity and quality must be carefully considered . . .
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Protein Consumption and Production

Tue, June 14, 2016
​The average American over age 20 consumes between 48 percent and 76 percent more protein than is recommended, for women and men respectively.
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Fruit and Vegetable Production and Consumption

Tue, June 14, 2016
​For culinary professionals, fruits and vegetables offer a terrific opportunity for menu innovation, great flavor, sales growth, and health promotion.
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Fish, Seafood, and Oceans

Tue, June 14, 2016
Seafood continues to be a healthy and relatively environmentally friendly choice.
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Climate Change

Tue, June 14, 2016
The foodservice industry’s primary focus is food, a central part of the lives and culture of every American. Climate change poses a critical threat to the ability of the... read more
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Water Sustainability

Tue, June 14, 2016
The World Economic Forum in 2015 ranked water scarcity’s impact on drinking water and global food security as the top threat facing the planet in the next decade.
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Agriculture, Drugs, and Chemicals Use

Tue, June 14, 2016
In December 2013 the FDA called for the voluntary cessation of the use of low-dose antibiotics. This call, formally known as Guidance for Industry #213, was much more problematic and allowed for continued use of low-dose antibiotics for disease prevention . . .
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Healthy Food vs. Healthcare Spending and Trends in Medical-Culinary Educational Alliances

Tue, June 14, 2016
Over the past two years, four studies have been published exploring the relationship between time spent cooking and the quality of one’s diet. Two suggest that more time spent cooking is predictive of enhanced diet quality and one does not.
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