The Oscars 2020 menu going plant-based is a sham
Every year, the awards show circuits picks a subject and then runs with it for the duration of the awards season. And this year plant-based cuisine is the new 'IT' thing in Hollywood. Lean, green, fighting machine is a phrase the Academy Awards are taking to heart this year by trying to be at least 70% greener than usual.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has revealed that it will taking up on Joaquin Phoenix's suggestion at the Golden Globes and will be offering a fully plant-based menu at the Oscar Nominees luncheon. It will be following that up with an almost 100% plant based menu for the big show night at the 92nd Academy Awards on February 9.
Here's the complete Oscars lunch menu:
Variety reports that post the big night, the Governors Ball will be 70% plant-based, and 30% vegetarian, fish and meat and in addition to that the food will be responsibly sourced and sustainably farmed.
In a statement they said:
“The Academy is an organization of storytellers from around the world, and we owe our global membership a commitment to supporting the planet. For the past decade, the Academy has been committed to reducing its carbon footprint. For the past seven years, the Oscars show has had a zero-carbon imprint. We continue to expand our sustainability plan with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral.”
But why choose to go plant-based? Is it just another buzz word the Academy of Motion Picture Arts is trying to pander to in order to please the front row A-listers like Joaquin Phoenix and Leonardo di Caprio? Why not instead appeal to everyone — meat-eaters and plant-based followers alike - by saying they have different options suitable to all? Is it really necessary to alienate one set of followers to please the others?
But it's not just the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards going vegan. The recent Critics Choice Awards also went meat-free this year. The Academy’s new plans follow the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s move to have a 100% plant-based menu at the Golden Globes. According to various reports, the menu originally featured a Chilean sea bass dish, but was changed to king oyster mushroom “scallops” with wild mushroom risotto and vegetables after serious lobbying by Joker actor Phoenix. The menu also included a chilled golden beet soup appetizer. A so-called “vegan opera dome” by pastry chef Thomas Henzi was served as dessert.
Phoenix appreciated the menu change and thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press in his awards acceptance speech for best actor and released a statement as well.
"By acknowledging animal agriculture's role in the degradation of our planet and boldly taking measures to do its part to reduce harm, the [Golden Globes organizers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association] have shown great leadership.
[and thank you to] the brilliant chefs, and everyone working so hard to confront the environmental perils we face by supporting a plant-based 77th Golden Globes celebration. We look forward to this Sunday," he said.
While the UN and other environmental agencies have linked meat production with climate change, scientists and officials have not yet outright asked everyone to become vegan or vegetarian.
Celebrities at awards should take a cue from that. Rather than try force a lifestyle choice on the public - and their viewers - perhaps they should instead work to educate them on the science and the facts and let them make their own choice.