04 Oct IKEA’s New Veggie Dog: A step forward but not enough
In an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their selection of healthy offerings, IKEA has introduced a 75 cent veggie dog at all their Canadian Bistro locations.
Made from kale, red lentils, carrot, ginger, quinoa, onion, potatoes, and spices. This “dog” is served on a bun with mustard, red cabbage, and roasted onion.
A quote from IKEA’s “sustainability department” explains their motivations.
“The new veggie hot dog helps us cater to the needs of more of the many people at our Bistro locations – for vegetarians or those looking for a delicious plant-based alternative that’s convenient and truly affordable,” said Brendan Seale, Head of Sustainability, IKEA Canada. “Our aim is to provide food options that are healthy, delicious, and good for our planet and so we are proud to introduce the veggie hot dog.”
According to IKEA, this veggie dog has 7 times less carbon footprint than its meat alternative.
That is a huge number.
So my question to Ikea is this:
If your goal is sustainability and providing healthy food options, then why don’t you stop selling meat altogether (hot-dogs especially) and only serve a plant-based option?
Not only is meat incredibly destructive to our environment. But processed meat is a known Class 1 carcinogen according to the World Health Organization. In the same category as tobacco and asbestos.
Marketing yourself as a company that cares about health concerns and environmental impact related to meat consumption, while simultaneously engaging in the sale of meat-based products and the profit derived from it, is not only a glaring contradiction but is an egregious farce.
Many companies are quick to wear sustainability and environmental impact on their sleeve as a badge of honor and more so, happy to use it as an effective marketing campaign.
“We care about the environment, here’s a veggie dog.”
Meanwhile, IKEA continues to sell processed meat, which by their own account, is 7 times worse for the environment than this particular plant-based alternative.
While this veggie dog is a step forward it’s nowhere near enough.
If IKEA actually cared about environmental sustainability and the health of their patrons as they claim to, they would remove meat, processed meat in particular, from their menu entirely.
Thanks for the veggie dog IKEA, but you could do a lot better for the environment and the health of your patrons if you actually align your actions with your marketing claims.