It’s going to be two thirds plant-based, locally sourced and nutritious, all powered by a line-up of chefs and brands from all over the world.
Imagine a toasted bagel, generously smeared with cashew cream cheese, crowned with delicate carrot “salmon”, crispy capers, pickled cucumber, and a sprinkle of furikake, all elegantly garnished with vibrant red onion and dill.
A reimagined classic with a plant-based spin, the Carrot Lox Bagel, will be provided by PXB Lifestyle, one of several caterers who will be providing over 250,000 meals to over 70,000 hungry delegates at this year’s annual climate summit – COP28.
Officially kicking off today (30 November) in Dubai Expo City in the United Arab Emirates, the organisers of COP28 have committed to providing two thirds plant-based catering at the event – and caterers are stepping up to the plate to ensure the right food is on the table.
PXB Lifestyle, founded by plant-based chef Loui Blake, has more treats up its sleeve, including:
- The Katsu – A bed of sticky rice, drizzled with katsu sauce, adorned with tender stem broccoli, miso peanuts, kimchi, coriander, chilli, and spring onion. It’s an explosion of textures and tastes that will leave you craving for more.
- Fsh & chips – an innovative masterpiece that’s a must-try, as a fun take on the British classic. A battered banana blossom takes centre stage, accompanied by minty peas, tartare sauce, chunky chips, and a hint of lemon and dill.
- The Lotus Cheesecake – one of the most popular desserts in the region – a decadent dessert with all the charm of famed Lotus dessert but with a plant-based twist. A biscuit base forms the foundation for the creamy cheez filling, culminating in a lotus topping that’s both decadent and delightful.
- Finally, Raw Carrot Cake – a blissful treat to finish the meal with. A harmonious blend of walnuts, carrot, dates, and almonds serves as the base, while a sumptuous cashew cream cheese topping crowns this dessert, creating a delectable finale to your meal.
Switch foods, a UAE-based plant-based meat producer, will also be on hand to serve up some great plant-based offerings from its food trucks on site. Meals on offer include:
- The Switch Burger – a gourmet plant-based burger patty, composed of pea protein. Served on a toasted vegan bun with lettuce, tomatoes, dill pickles and SWITCH’s secret burger sauce.
- The Switch Kafta Wrap – a mildly spiced plant-based Kafta composed of pea protein. Served on Arabic bread with Mayo, sliced tomato, and pickles.
- The Switch Kabab Sandwich – a mildly spiced plant-based Kabab made from pea protein. Served on saj bread with biwaz salad, sliced tomatoes, pickles, tahini sauce and chili paste.
- And The Switch Grilled Arayes – a mildly spiced plant-based Kafta prepared with capsicum, tomato, onion, garlic, and chili paste.
Roots & Rolls, a Spanish alternative protein Asian fusion restaurant, will also operate a food truck at the event. Their offerings include:
- Emerald Sushi Roll – wakame, sugar snap peas, cucumber, vegan cream cheese, pak choi, sesame, yuzu miso & black quinoa rice.
- Geisha Sushi Roll – avocado maki with gluten-free panko, planted.chick’n tartare, fermented chilli sauce, chives & black quinoa rice.
- Hiyashi Noodle Salad – Japanese wheat noodles, sugar snap, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, lamb’s lettuce, wakame, goma sauce.
How did plant-based food get on the menu at COP?
The commitment for plant-based catering came about following months of collaborative work with the COP28 Presidency by YOUNGO and Food@COP, with support from global food awareness organisation, ProVeg International.
“Plant-based food emits half the carbon emissions as animal-based food so we are delighted that the organisers of COP28 have committed to providing mostly plant-based catering,” Lana Weidgenant, Campaigns and Policy Manager at ProVeg International, said.
“And it is fantastic to see caterers and plant-based meat manufacturers such as PXB Lifestyle and Switch foods deliver such a wide range of inspiring, plant-based dishes to the 70,000 delegates attending this year’s COP28 summit in Dubai,” Weidgenant added.
Aya Mounir, from YOUNGO, the Youth and Children constituency of the UNFCCC, the UN agency leading on COP summits, said: “Shifting societies to more plant-based foods is essential if we want to avoid ecosystem collapse and what better way than to show country representatives firsthand how tasty and nutritious climate-friendly food can really be.
“We praise the COP28 Presidency for giving caterers the opportunity to deliver two thirds plant-based catering on site at this year’s summit. We hope delegates will return home inspired by the plant-rich meals they have seen and eaten and initiate strategies to promote the production and consumption of plant-based foods in their own countries,” Mounir added.
“PXB Lifestyle stands as a transformative force in Dubai’s culinary scene. More than just a restaurant, PXB is a commitment to sustainability, wellness, and conscious living. We’re excited to offer an experience that nourishes not just the body but also the planet,” Loui Blake, founder of the PXB, said.
“We’re excited to be at COP28 and showcase our locally produced plant-based meats on this global platform,” Edward Hamod, founder and CEO Switch foods, said.
“Switch foods is a UAE-based company, and our products are designed to cater to local tastes and health preferences without compromising on flavour. At COP28, our Food Truck promises delegates and attendees a unique experience of sustainable, health-conscious, and locally sourced foods. Our presence here represents our unwavering dedication to sustainability as we continue to lead in reshaping food choices for a better future,” Hamod said.
Notes to editors
For media inquiries, email Peter Rixon at [email protected]
Some background data on food transformation
- Globally, food systems are responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions and animal agriculture is responsible for one fifth of global emissions.
- Plant-based foods emit half as much greenhouse gas as animal-based foods so they present an effective way for individuals to contribute to tackling climate change.
- Animal agriculture uses 83% of global agricultural land – this is an area the size of North and South America combined. And despite the vast resources needed for production, animal protein only provides 18% of calories and 37% of protein worldwide. Therefore, a vast area of land is needed to supply a very small number of calories, making animal agriculture highly inefficient and harmful to the planet.
- Animal agriculture uses around 70% of the world’s antibiotics in order to limit the spread of disease between livestock. The excessive use of antibiotics contributes heavily to antibiotic resistance and poses a threat to human lives. In 2017, WHO called for farmers and the food industry to stop using antibiotics routinely to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.This year WHO is also collaborating with ProVeg International for an event at COP28 where one of their key takeaway messages is that intensive animal farming is associated with increased risk of antimicrobial resistance. Through shifting towards plant-based diets, the sheer quantity of antibiotics used would be reduced, along with the risk of antibiotic resistance.
- A reduction in livestock would mean fewer crops being fed to animals and instead used for human consumption, easing food security concerns. Therefore, limiting animal agriculture ultimately means more than enough land is freed to produce enough crops for humans.
- Plant-based diets also serve to promote social justice. For example, animal agriculture is a leading cause of deforestation. Around 80% of deforestation in the Amazon is due to cattle farming alone. And of course, many indigenous communities rely on the forests to sustain their livelihoods.
- Without transforming current food-consumption behaviours, the Paris Agreement will not be achieved. This means that global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees, even if current fossil fuel emissions are completely halted.
About ProVeg International
Our vision is a world where everyone chooses delicious and healthy food that is good for all humans, animals, and our planet. ProVeg International is a food awareness organisation with the mission to replace 50% of animal products globally with plant-based and cultivated foods by 2040.
About PXB Lifestyle
Founded by Loui Blake & curated by a team of global experts, PXB Lifestyle was formed to bring a conscious and holistic approach to plant-based living ahead of COP28. Curated for connection, PXB promotes health, wellness & sustainability through a plant-based lifestyle. We use a holistic & integrative approach to our individual, collective & planetary health, brought to life through our physical outlets, our Dubai HQ, digital media & events.
About Switch foods
At Switch, we are on a mission to revolutionise the way people eat meat, greens, and everything in between. Our plant-based products are the future of food, offering you the chance to rediscover regional classics in their animal-free version. We are focused on creating clean-label meat alternatives that are 100% GMO-free, soy-free, allergen-free, gluten-free, vegan, and halal-certified.