Garden Protein International Inc.

Garden Protein International Inc.

August 30, 2010 10:30 ET

Going Back to School in "Greener" Style

Cafeteria Menus to Feature Plant-Based Protein From gardein™

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 30, 2010) - As the 2010-2011 school year kicks off, more than 80 colleges and universities in North America including the likes of Harvard, Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, and Michigan State University are serving gardein™ (garden + protein), a tasty line of plant-based foods, on cafeteria menus. Adding meat-free foods to campus menus supports the needs of the rapidly growing vegetarian student population as well as school-wide sustainability charters.

"Change is happening fast on college and university campuses including what types of foods are being served in the cafeteria," says Yves Potvin, president of Garden Protein International and maker of gardein™. "It should be no surprise to see a focus on plant-based diets at higher-learning institutions since today's sustainability-minded youth are tomorrow's leaders."

Chef Luke Parker with Harvard University says, "gardein™ has completely restored my faith in meat-free foods. Finally a product that gets to the center of the plate and out of the bun – our chefs love to prepare it and our students love to eat it."

According to a 2006 Aramark survey*, one of every four college students in the U.S. is seeking vegetarian options on campus. "Students now demand sustainable, and often compassionate, food choices—ones free of animal and dairy ingredients—which is a very powerful driver of change," adds Potvin. This shift in the "way we eat" and "what we eat" is also being driven by schools with an overall commitment to environmental issues and ones that want to prepare their students for a sustainable future.

"Finally, a meat-free food with the texture of animal-protein," says Chef Robert Landophi with the University of Connecticut. "I love how you can substitute gardein™ for chicken or beef in any recipe without making other changes."

Studies promoting the human health benefits of a plant-based diet also continue to make news and are being endorsed by non-profit organizations like The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, who actively support healthy school meals. "Re-evaluating what we eat and the impact it has on our health and the environment is happening everywhere, including at the government level," states Potvin.

In June, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee submitted its report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS), which calls for a plant-based diet—more vegetables, beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds—for consideration after a nearly two-year process that involved an extensive review of the latest science and hearing expert testimony on a broad range of nutrition, diet and health-related topics.

About gardein

gardein™ (garden + protein) is a line of delicious plant-based foods slow cooked to have the authentic taste and texture of premium lean meat. Made from a savory blend of vegetables, grains and plant-based proteins including pea, wheat and soy, gardein™  is free of cholesterol and trans fats and the majority of products provide a good source of fiber and are low in fat. Today, gardein™ is available in the fresh and frozen sections of more than 10,000 grocery stores across the United States and Canada and is served on the menu at restaurants and in collegiate, corporate and hospital cafeterias. For more information, visit www.gardein.com.

*Based on 2006 poll of 100,000 college students by the food service giant Aramark, 30 percent of all students said that it was "very important" to them to have vegetarian food options on campus, up from 26 percent in 2004.

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