Obama goes for meat substitute in vegan menu for birthday dinner

Faux-beef and ‘cheesesteak eggrolls’ to be served for friends and family

Gino Spocchia
Friday 06 August 2021 14:54
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<p>Barak Obama</p>

Barak Obama

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Guests at Barack Obama’s upcoming 60th birthday dinner will be offered a meat-free menu featuring the likes of faux-beef and faux-pork, according to a report.

A source familiar with the dinner told Bloomberg that a meat-free menu will be offered on Saturday in Massachusetts, when a family and friends of the Obamas are set to gather.

The former president had been set to host hundreds of guests on Martha’s Vineyard, an island south of Cape Cod, before scaling back “significantly” because of Covid on Wednesday — the date of his 60th birthday.

A spokesperson for his office, Hannah Hankins, said that because of the spread of the Delta variant across the US, the Obamas “have decided to significantly scale back the event to include only family and close friends”.

American musician Questlove, who has performed for Mr Obama and is a known friend, was named as the man behind the menu. He is also an advocate for vegan foods, and has his own brand of Impossible “burger”.

In addition to Impossible Foods, other meat-free brands will feature on the menu, such as Just Eat Inc, which creates animal-free egg products.

Guests will be offered faux-beef and faux-pork, and Questlove’s Cheesesteak Eggrolls, made with Impossible “beef” and a “cheese sauce” made by a California-based start up, Perfect Day Inc.

Americans are increasingly turning toward meat-free foods, which have a lower carbon and environmental footprint than meat and dairy, and can reduce future warming of the climate.

According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, meat and dairy account for 14.5 per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, which is the same as all cars, HGVs, aircraft, and ships combined.

The number of vegans in the US has grown by 500 per cent since 2014, with more than 500,000 people signing up to take part in Veganuary in January — and 25 per cent more than in 2020, when the Golden Globes featured a meat-free menu.

Mr Obama’s birthday dinner will be expected to rise the profile of plant-based food further.

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