Plant-based community kitchens to build communities around plant-based diets.
Lead Applicant Organization Name
Lead Applicant Organization Type
Small company (under 50 employees)
How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?
Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?
Los Angeles (County)
Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?
United States of America
Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?
Los Angeles (County) (12,310 km2)
What country is your selected Place located in?
United States of America
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
The project founders reside and work in Los Angeles.
Reasons why our Vision would work Los Angeles:
- There is a demand for healthy and plant-based diets, so it is a good place to test our concept.
- There are lots of busy professionals and families who do not have time to cook.
- There are lots of busy people looking for community
- Plant-based restaurants are expensive ($8-12 and up for Chipotle, SweetGreens and other fast casual options; $13-15 and up for casual sit down options (e.g. Cafe Gratitude))
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Los Angeles County, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area of the U.S. state of California, is the single most populous county in the United States, with more than 10 million inhabitants as of 2018. It is the third-largest metropolitan economy in the world, with a Nominal GDP of over $700 billion—larger than the GDPs of Belgium, Norway, and Taiwan. The county is home to more than one-quarter of California residents and is one of the most ethnically-diverse counties in the U.S. Los Angeles is known for its warm climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis.
What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Project Drawdown lists plant-rich diet as the 4th most impactful, viable solution to climate change. (https://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank).
- Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70 percent through adopting a vegan diet and 63 percent for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs.
- If 50 percent of the world’s population restricts their diet to a healthy 2,500 calories per day and reduces meat consumption overall, we estimate at least 26.7 gigatons of emissions could be avoided from dietary change alone. If avoided deforestation from land use change is included, an additional 39.3 gigatons of emissions could be avoided, making healthy, plant-rich diets one of the most impactful solutions at a total of 66 gigatons reduced.
- Plant-rich diets also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease.
- According to a 2016 study, $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.
- Food and eating is profoundly personal and cultural so we must create communities and cultures that help support a transition to plant-based diets. As Malcolm Gladwell states “If you want to bring a fundamental change in people's belief and behavior...you need to create a community around them, where those new beliefs can be practiced and expressed and nurtured.”
- Current demand-side trends in food technology focus on faster deliveries, automation, and efficiencies. This trend also continues to promote a fast(er) food culture and further breakdown of communities around food.
- Adoption of a plant-rich diet can help end price-distorting government subsidies, such as those benefiting the U.S. livestock industry, so that the prices of animal protein more accurately reflect their true cost.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has said, making the transition to a plant-based diet may be the most effective way an individual can stop climate change.
Our vision is to create plant-based community kitchens to educate, promote, and build communities that support the increase of plant-based diets.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
Our kitchens allow participants to:
1. Sign up for a cooking session and select dishes they wish to cook and take home. Each session averages around 20 servings that the participant can take home and eat through the following weeks. As we order ingredients based on pre-selected dishes, we can manage food waste.
2. Sessions are led by a trained, plant-based chefs. Our menus focus on ingredients that are healthy and in-season provided by local growers.
3. Everyone is involved in cooking. Participants act as sous chef. This allows them to learn how to cook the food at home for their families and for the future and builds community around the act of cooking with other participants.
4. Following the cooking session, there may be some event or further community building or education opportunities.
5. Participants take their portions home in sustainable, reusable containers and eat through the following weeks. Our goal is zero-waste.
We see this model as very scalable. For example, like a chain of restaurant, the concept can scale to different neighborhoods and metro areas. We also see a lot of different optionality to expand our impact. For example, we can partner with sponsors to provide cooking sessions to lower income demographics or we can work with organizations focused on health issues to provide the specific Kitchen cooking sessions for their audience.
The Vision addresses the six interconnected themes as such:
-- Environment: Plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. Plant-rich diets one of the most impactful solutions at a total of 66 gigatons reduced. (1)
-- Diets - Plant-rich diets also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease.
Economics - According to a 2016 study, $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.
-- Culture - Our Kitchens create communities that help educate and nurture plant-based diet lifestyles.
-- Technology - Short-term, we see building a technology platform to connect/onboard participants, and connect/work with growers/providers in selecting and optimizing ingredients and food waste. Once scaled and participants use our Kitchens regularly we envision a technology platform to help them optimize their diets and health further.
-- Policy - Adoption of a plant-rich diet can help end price-distorting government subsidies, such as those benefiting the U.S. livestock industry, so that the prices of animal protein more accurately reflect their true cost.
How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?