Panera  is introducing  ”Cool Food Meals” to highlight climate-friendly menu items with low greenhouse gas emissions.

Developed  by the  World Resources Institute  (WRI), menu items with a Cool Food Meal label follow the low emissions standards established by WRI to mitigate the impact of climate change.

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More than half of Panera entrees are Cool Food Meals including 14 plant-based options like the Baja Grain Bowl, Ten Vegetable Soup, Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich, and others.

“At Panera, we are passionate about keeping the customer at the heart of everything we do, and that includes giving our guests choices to lower their impact on climate change through the food they eat in our bakery-cafes. With 55% of Panera entrees certified as Cool Food Meals, our guests have many options for delicious food with a lower carbon footprint, from salads to soups to sandwiches,” said Niren Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer, Panera Bread. “Understanding the impact of what we eat on the environment is one way we can all take a small step toward combatting climate change—so as a food company, we feel a strong responsibility to share this information and empower our guests to help make a difference.”

Recent estimates show that food production is responsible for around 25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. More and more consumers are recognizing the impact of their diet on the environment and demanding more climate-friendly options at restaurants and stores.

“The science is clear that we’re not going to be able to address climate change without changing what we eat. But that doesn’t mean that eating for the planet has to be boring,” said Daniel Vennard, Director of Sustainable Diets at WRI. “Cool Food Meals have a low impact on the climate, making them a delicious way to help the planet. This new certification is about spotlighting the dishes that help people build climate-friendly lifestyles.”

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Last month, Just Salad introduced its “Climatarian” Menu featuring items with the lowest carbon footprints. Efforts to put carbon labels on food products have gained traction in recent years with large food companies like Unilever committing to track and publish emissions from their products.

Read more about how changing to a plant-based diet can offset years of carbon emissions and the environmental impact of meat compared to vegetables.

Eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

Interested in joining the dairy-free and meatless train? We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

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