The rationale? ‘Food should not only be good for you, it should also be good for the planet.’
In the age of coronavirus, going out has gotten a bit more complicated.
Once you’ve navigated the guilt and anxiety – ‘Should I be going out? Do I really need to go out? Will people judge me for going out? Is it safe? – there are the extra precautions we have to take. The one-out, one-in policy at some shops, the face coverings, the hand sanitiser, the physical distancing playing out like some odd kind of dance.
And yet, the message from my friend was absolute: ‘I will queue, I will wear a face mask, and I will eat the plant-based meatballs…’
Yes, IKEA have launched their plant-based meatballs and fans – like my friend – are definitely on-board.
‘Unsustainable consumption and climate change remain some of the biggest challenges for humanity,’ the IKEA website states. ‘We want to make healthier and more sustainable living easy. But it’s more than just offering smarter products – we want to create a movement for better, more sustainable everyday life.’
Alongside the minimalist flatpack furniture (ticking all my Scandi-chic boxes), IKEA has always been popular – in part – for the iconic Swedish meatballs served in the restaurants and bistros in their shops. With this move toward a plant-based menu, the lifestyle brand is doing its part to help the planet.
‘But why a meatball without meat? Well, plant-based foods need less resources, less water and less land to feed just as many. Producing a veggie ball makes a carbon footprint that’s 20 times smaller compared to when producing a traditional meatball. By cutting meat and dairy products from your diet you could reduce the carbon footprint from your food by up to 73%.’
Made from chickpeas, carrots, corn and kale, the meatballs will be served alongside veggie hotdogs, fruit snacks, nut mixes, oat smoothies and even vegan caviar made from seaweed pearls.
The menu is only part of the work IKEA is doing to reduce its carbon footprint. They are on target of making the last mile of deliveries in 100% electric vehicles and they have plans to roll out electric charging points for customers at all their stores by the end of 2020.
And their Greenwich store in London has received an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM certification for its sustainable construction.
‘The store takes sustainability to the next level, not just in its design and architecture, but also as it was built with the local community in mind,’ says Helen Aylett, IKEA Greenwich store manager.
With a focus on community and wellbeing, the store offers employees and customers alike access to a roof pavilion and garden, yoga and meditation classes, meeting and co-working spaces. They also offer workshops on how to reduce waste, reuse materials and upcycle old products.
And so, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to IKEA for a lunch of plant-based meatballs…