The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has made a last-minute switch to an entirely plant-based menu because it wants to “send a good message” about sustainability.
It’s that time of the year. Lights come down, resolutions are drawn up and suddenly, everyone seems to be swearing off meat – including the Golden Globes.
The famed Hollywood institution – seemingly striving for an accolade of its own – is likely to become the first major awards show to go all-vegan after announcing it will be serving 100% plant-based meals on 5 January to more than 1,300 guests.
The original menu for the awards show, revealed in December, included fish. This last-minute change to a new menu is the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s attempt to “send a good message” as part of a larger sustainability push, according to Matthew Morgan, executive chef of the Beverly Hilton, where the awards take place.
The new menu will include an appetiser of chilled golden beet soup with locally grown chervil and amaranth and a main dish of king oyster mushrooms cooked and presented to resemble scallops, with wild mushroom risotto, roasted baby purple and green Brussels sprouts, globe carrots and pea tendrils, and a vegan take on an opera cake for dessert.
Morgan told The Hollywood Reporter he had received the call about the switch just before Christmas. “[The HFPA] wanted to make this change to send a good message,” he explained. “It’s definitely the first Golden Globes that has gone vegan.”
In a further bid to reduce the event’s environmental footprint, the HFPA has also signalled plans to reuse this year’s new red carpet at subsequent events and reduce plastic waste by serving water in glass bottles.
HFPA president Lorenzo Soria told the Associated Press the change was part of the organisation’s effort to be more environmentally conscious.
“The climate crisis is impossible to ignore and after speaking with our peers, and friends in the community, we felt challenged to do better,” Soria explained in a statement, saying that the decision “represents a small step in response to a big problem.”
He added, “we’re hoping to raise awareness around small changes that can have a greater impact. We know awards shows have a long way to go, and we all can do better”.
It’s true that Hollywood can do better (we would hate to think of the air travel that comes with a show like this) but these “small steps” should not be brushed off, given the influence Hollywood wields and if the alternative is maintaining the no-longer-acceptable status quo.
A study by Oxford University found that cutting meat and dairy products could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73%. Further, if everyone stopped eating these foods, global farmland use could be reduced by 75%, an area equivalent to the size of the US, China, Australia and the EU combined.
So if more more awards shows follow in the footsteps of the Golden Globes, suddenly these small steps start to look like progress.