Doctors, Dietitians Offer Plant-Based Makeover for Congressional Cafeterias

The Physicians Committee
NEWS RELEASE January 20, 2016
Doctors, Dietitians Offer Plant-Based Makeover for Congressional Cafeterias
Cafeteria Management Invited to Sample Plant-Based Super Bowl Snacks at Congressional Veggie Touchdown

WASHINGTON—Doctors and dietitians from the Barnard Medical Center will visit Congress on Friday, Feb. 5, to share healthful plant-based Super Bowl snacks with members of Congress and staffers at the Veggie Touchdown, sponsored by the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association. Sodexo, which manages congressional cafeterias, has also been invited and encouraged to serve more plant-based options in Congress.


WHAT: Congressional Veggie Touchdown: Plant-Based Super Bowl Snacks
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 5
WHERE: United States Capitol Visitor Center, Room 268
WHO: James Loomis, M.D., M.B.A., medical director of Barnard Medical Center; Barnard Medical dietitians Maggie Neola, R.D., L.D., and Karen Smith, R.D.; Adam Sarvana, president of the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association

Dietitians from Barnard Medical—founded by the nonprofit Physicians Committee—will serve an assortment of dips and spreads, Sweet Potato Skins, Veggie Popcorn “Chicken,” and Jalapeño Poppers. Barnard Medical Center medical director James Loomis, M.D., will highlight the health benefits of choosing bright, colorful foods.

In an invitation to Sodexo, Dr. Loomis also offered the Physicians Committee’s help in making over foods in congressional cafeterias.

“Our dietitians welcome the opportunity to work with you and your staff to develop a pilot program of plant-based options to test in House cafeterias,” wrote Dr. Loomis. “Last year, Physicians Committee nutrition experts partnered with D.C. Central Kitchen for a plant-based lunch pilot program with more than 400 students at Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C.”

The offerings included Powered-Up Pasta, Veg-Out Chili, Southwest Energy Burgers, and Barbecue Tofu Bites.

“Plant-based meals like these have already proven popular in Congress,” wrote Adam Sarvana, president of the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association. “At last summer’s Congressional Veggie Burger Smackdown … vegetarian members of Congress including Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch, and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, as well as hundreds of other attendees, were all in attendance.”

The U.S. government’s recently released 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.