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Michelin Awards With a Difference

It wasn't until last year that Michelin made its first award to a restaurant in France serving solely plant-based cuisine, but it's now showering its stars on numerous others too.

As reported by OGN in January, Claire Vallee's restaurant ONA - which stands for Origine Non Animale - in the city of Ares, near Bordeaux, was the first recipent of a Michelin star.

Now, as the demand for vegan and vegetarian food is growing, Vallee is not the only vegan chef impressing Michelin judges. Michelin has since awarded 57 vegetarian restaurants and 24 vegan restaurants their prestigious stars, with more to come.

The list of recipients includes vegan restaurants Joia in Milan and King’s Joy in Beijing, and vegetarian restaurants Cookies Cream in Berlin, Eleven Madison Park in New York, and Le Comptoir in Los Angeles. While vegetarian and vegan options were scarce just a decade ago, the options are now plentiful and ever-growing.

Always ahead of global food trends, famous Parisian chef Alain Passard rocked the culinary world in 2001 when he announced that his three-starred Michelin restaurant L’Arpège was dropping meat and going vegetarian. He’s famous for saying he was warned that it would be a “death sentence” but, incroyable, he’s still with us.

As we all know, reducing meat consumption is an important component in the fight to reduce carbon emissions. Indeed, changing to a plant-based diet ranks high on the list of solutions for addressing climate change. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, if 50 to 75 percent of the world’s population restricted their diet to a healthy average of 2,250 calories per day and reduced meat consumption overall, we could save at least 43-68 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions alone.

Couple that with the health benefits of a low fat and lower calorie diet, and giving up meat just makes sense.


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