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Plant-based alternatives to meat, diary, eggs (with Geneva tips)

To replace eggs,

In cakes, you may use smashed bananas or 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water

To make scrambled eggs, use scrambled tofu with nutritional yeast

For every dairy product, there is a cruelty-free alternative. In addition to being more humane than cow’s milk, soy-, rice-, and nut-based milks and cheeses are generally lower in fat and calories and contain no cholesterol.  

Milk: Soy, rice, or nut milk can replace cow’s milk in any recipe. Coop’s almond flavoured rice milk is just amazing! In health stores you can find chocolate or vanilla flavoured soy milk too.
• For desserts, try using almond, rice, oat, or coconut milk.
• Migros has a soy based whipped cream (Soja line brand)
• For buttermilk, combine one cup soy milk and one tablespoon vinegar.

Cheese: You can make vegan cheese using nuts. (Google for recipe) There are also plenty of convenient alternatives to cheese, such as the following, available at the grocery store or online:

• Cheezly (Mozzarella, Edam, Parmezan, Cheddar, etc. style. Available at healthstores, for example at Alna at Coutance, opposite Manor). Cheezly Edam or Cheddar is excellent grated on pizzas. You can also take it to your favourite pizzeria: the waiters will be very understanding if you ask them to use that cheese instead of the dairy-based one. Restaurant Molinos at Molard is particularly vegan friendly.
• The Swiss brand, Vegusto makes fantastic plant-based cheeses, sausages and meat alternatives. Order online at
• Soyana brand makes a wide variety of soy cheeses, including nondairy cream cheese, as well as vegan sour cream and ice cream. Available in health stores
• Replace cottage or ricotta cheese with crumbled, seasoned tofu.
• For Parmesan cheese, try nutritional yeast flakes (available in health stores).

Yogurt: Delicious soy based yogurts and desserts are available in Coop, Migros and in health stores.

Ice Cream: There is a wide variety of vegan ice cream available. Migros has several soy based ones, and even soy based vanilla cones. Coop has fantastic dairy free sorbets. Health stores sell Booja-booja and other dairy free brands.

Meat replacers: legumes (lentils, beans), tofu, tempeh, seitan are high in protein without the negative side effects of meat. Coop has some great ready-made vegan labeled foods, such as schnitzels and fake meats to grill. Migros and the health stores too.

On the go: When traveling, check out for local vegan friendly restaurants and health stores. 

Anything else: If you have not found the plant-based version of your favourite food in this list, just google its name with the word vegan, and you will find a recipe for it!



Palais and Chatelaine cantines: Meat free day March 20

WHO: Less Meat Day

The WHO Green Group will hold its first Less Meat Day in the WHO cafeteria on Monday, March 4th. CFFL members will be there from 12:00 to check out the climate friendly options.

Read more on the Less Meat Day initiative at the Greening the Blue website:

UNAIDS cafeteria achievements – Susie Bolvenkel-Prior’s account

Susie Bolvenkel-Prior, who negotiated the Meat Free Day in the UNAIDS cafeteria with EURES told us her experience:

She said that it was not difficult to persuade the cafeteria, because they were very open for the greening idea, and after the first successful day they saw that there ware no financial losses. (The food is cheaper this way, and people still come and enjoy the food). She also achived banning paper cups. She emphasized that the choice and the quality very much depends on the chef.

She is also pushing for locally produced products. (Apples from overseas should not be sold, neither raspberries in the winter). Organic is difficult, because the authentication is often fuzzy.

Next CFFL meeting: UNAIDS Red Ribbon Café on 31 January 2013

The Red Ribbon Café at UNAIDS (Avenue Appia 20, Geneva, 1202; in the last, OMS stop of the nr 8 bus) is the first UN cafeteria in Geneva to have introduced a monthly meat free day. The cafeteria, ran by Eurest, offers this special day every last Thursday of the month since September 2011.

Come and join other climate friendly food lover UN staff at 12:00 on 31st January to savour Red Ribbon’s fantastic variety of climate friendly hot meals, check out their large salad bar and have an informal chat with other good food enthusiasts who happen to care about the environment.

Any UN staff is most welcome to join, who has an open mind to opt for a plant-based lunch option on that day. Look for the CFFL logo on our table.

See you there!

Climate Friendly Food in UN Cafeterias

Only illustration. Photo by moirabot CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Only illustration. Photo by moirabot CC

Climate Friendly Food Lovers will visit a UN cafeteria each month and check the climate friendly options available.

There are already a number of UN cafeterias in Geneva, where hot climate friendly meals are available on certain days. The Climate Friendly Food Lovers will visit and review each of them and make suggestions how to make the selection even more climate friendly.

Please feel free to contact us at climatefriendlyfoodlovers/at/ if you would like to start a climate friendly project in your cafeteria or if you would like to tell us about the climate friendly options already available. At the moment we are active in Geneva, Switzerland, but would love to hear from you if you would like to join us at other duty stations.

Geneva cafeterias where climate friendly meals are available on certain days already:

In the restaurants operated by DSR (Palais des Nations, Palais Wilson, Motta and in the Environment House in Chatelaine) there is one completely plant based menu available on Wednesdays which is marked “Vegetalien” (vegan). In the Palais there is a salad bar, and vegan pasta is available on request, though not clearly marked vegan. Some of the food offered is organic, seasonal and/or local. In Chatelaine there is a limited selection of salads available daily. On December 5th a leaflet explaining the links between climate change and lunch choices was distributed in the cafeterias, and the management of the cafeteria seems to be open to the idea of marking their available plant-based foods vegan and/or climate-friendly. We look forward to the implementation very much.

It would be nice if hot plant-based options were available every day and all vegan food was marked clearly, possibly even indicating that the meal is climate friendly. Many staff members, who are not vegetarian/vegan or lactose intolerant would choose plant-based hot meal options just to be able to reduce their carbon footprint or for health reasons.

In the Red Ribbon Café/Café Ruban Rouge (UNAIDS) the last Thursday of every month is a meat free day, but even on other days climate friendly 100% plant based hot meals are available and there is a large salad bar as well.

In the WHO cafeteria negotiations are under way to extend the variety of more sustainable meal options.

At the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction  in May 2013there will be vegan lunch options available for the delegates.

More detailed analysis of the climate friendly food options in UN cafeterias is coming soon.

CO2 emission: animal proteins vs. plant-based proteins


Source: Kick the habit: A UN guide to climate neutrality

Climate change and your lunch – Is there a connection?

This leaflet will be distributed in the Palais and Environment House (Châtelaine) cafeterias on Wednesday, 5th December, 2012. (Click on the image to view the text)

Climate change and your lunch

Climate Friendly Lunch

Climate friendly black forest cake. Source:



Join the Climate Friendly Food Lovers group if you would like to see more sustainable food choices at your local cafeteria. We meet once a month and put one of the cafeterias of the Organization to test their climate friendly options.

Our first meeting will be on Wednesday 5th December at 12:00 am. We will meet in front of the PN cafeteria to put their new vegan/vegetalien menu to the test.