The Menus of Change Initiative
Menus of Change®: The Business of Healthy, Sustainable, Delicious Food Choices is a ground-breaking initiative from The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that works to realize a long-term, practical vision integrating optimal nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility concerns within the foodservice industry and the culinary profession.
2020 Menus of Change Summit Moves Online
Recognizing the continued, strategic importance of the Menus of Change initiative to the future of our industry—including rebuilding from the devastation of this pandemic—we will be staging our 2020 Menus of Change Summit this summer in a six-week, serialized virtual format. Our eighth edition of this CIA leadership program will feature a few hours of high-impact, interactive online programming each Wednesday beginning on July 22 and running through August 26 from 10AM – 12:30 PM PDT / 1 – 3:30 PM EDT.
The topics addressed by the new virtual series of this year’s Menus of Change Leadership Summit will be critically relevant to chefs and operators working to re-open and secure the financial sustainability of their restaurants and foodservice operations.We believe that business strategy focused on personal and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility must continue to drive innovation and change if our industry is to be successful in securing a thriving, resilient future.
This year’s Menus of Change Summit features our largest conference faculty ever, with top talent including nutrition and environmental scientists, consumer insight experts, chefs and culinary entrepreneurs, business leaders and investment analysts, industry sector innovators, journalists and climate communications specialists, suppliers large and small, food systems change-makers, world cuisine experts, policy advocates, futurists, biodiversity leaders, and more.
In collaboration with summit sponsors, we are making this Menus of Change Leadership Summit: Virtual Summit available tuition-free to foodservice operators on a space available basis.
About Menus of Change
Now in its eighth year, Menus of Change has established a compelling new agenda for the foodservice industry through an annual leadership summit at the CIA’s Hyde Park campus, an annual report on the state of the industry, and an ongoing series of tools and guidance for foodservice professionals. The initiative’s thought-leadership includes:
- Showing that changing menus is a powerful, and previously underappreciated, way to drive improvements in our health and our planet.
- Bringing attention to protein, both animal- and plant-based, to show how that macronutrient category has the largest impact on the environment including climate change.
- Making plant-forward dining a mainstream concept in the culinary profession and foodservice industry, with a clear vision for a new way to cook and serve food to others.
What is Plant-Forward?
a style of cooking and eating that emphasizes and celebrates, but is not limited to, plant-based foods—including fruits and vegetables (produce); whole grains; beans, legumes (pulses), and soy foods; nuts and seeds; plant oils; and herbs and spices—and that reflects evidence-based principles of health and sustainability.
To help you communicate the many terms in the plant-forward family (from "flexitarian" to "vegan") with fellow industry professionals, we invite you to use this new slide deck, "What's in a Name?" For inspiration about the future of plant-forward dining, check out the CIA-EAT Plant-Forward Global 50, a must-know list of chefs who are innovators and leaders in elevating plant-based foods and experiences.
The CIA's Industry Leadership Initiatives
Menus of Change is a signature initiative at the center of an entire portfolio of strategic initiatives designed and presented by The Culinary institute of America with the aim of supporting the best possible future for the $860 billion U.S. foodservice industry, including staying ahead of emerging, high-impact trends and issues. Though each initiative has a distinct vision and mission—and may operate in a specific sector of the industry with unique opportunities and constraints—the 24 Menus of Change Principles serve as the reference point for this broader ecosystem and provide guidance and direction as issues of health, sustainability, and food ethics arise. The Culinary Institute of America recognizes that within K-12 school nutrition some of these principles may need to be adapted given the nutritional needs and preferences of young students, K-12 operating environments, and current guidance from USDA. Learn more about all of the CIA’s thought leadership programs by visiting ciaprochef.com.
Member of United Nations Academic Impact
Read the EAT-Lancet Commission for Food, Planet, and Health to learn about the first-ever scientific targets for global diets and sustainable food production.
New Resource! What Builds Strong Evidence on Diet and Health?
Together, the CIA and Harvard Chan School have developed a toolkit for discerning fact from fiction when it comes to studies on diet and health. Use this resource to understand what can go wrong and what quality markers to look for when evaluating scientific information about food and nutrition. Learn more.
Principles of Healthy, Sustainable Menus
The Principles of Healthy, Sustainable Menus provides unique guidance for the foodservice industry, and bring together findings from nutritional and environmental science perspectives on optimal food choices, trends in consumer preferences, and impacts of projected demographic shifts. Learn more.
Menus of Change Annual Report
Read the 2019 Menus of Change Annual Report for insights into and analysis of issues that relate to the future success and sustainability of the food and foodservice industries at the convergence of public health, the environment, and the business of food.