According to the website Supportmfm.org, an organization that stands for Meat Free Mondays and is supported by Paul and Stella McCartney, livestock production and consumption is responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the entire transport sector.
These facts and an overall dedication to the environment moved the management at CanoeHouse restaurant, located at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii, to action.
At CanoeHouse, Mondays mean a vegan and vegetarian menu by Chef James Ortiaga, who works with the freshest local ingredients available — all sourced within 100 miles of the resort. Greens from the nearby Hirabara Farms feature prominently on the menu as does local Hamakua heirloom tomatoes, mushrooms and asparagus. Ortiaga pairs biodynamic wines and fresh fruit cocktails with the dishes on Meat Free Mondays.
“The Meat Free Mauna Lani Menu is only three months old,” says Ortiaga. “The decision to do this came from collaboration among the hotel's management and culinary teams. It’s another way we can [continue] our commitment to the environment, given that we have won multiple awards for being one of the world's top earth friendly getaways. The menu is also a chance to show off the abundance of fresh, flavorsome, top-quality produce we have access to on Hawaii Island.”
The menu is changed every couple of weeks to keep it interesting and to take advantage of the best in season produce, and the MFM options have sold so well, they are now offered on the regular menu every day of the week.
“Those who still love their meat can choose from the regular CanoeHouse menu that features plenty of Hawaiian fish, lamb, chicken and pork,” he says. “We are not telling people not to eat meat — we are providing an option and can hopefully create awareness along the way.”