Following recent launches in Singapore and Taiwan earlier this year, Hong Kong-based global movement and social venture Green Monday has expanded yet again, this time to Thailand, with the hope of spreading awareness about the benefits of a plant-based diet in the Southeast Asian nation. Green Monday also debuted their meat alternative Omnipork with high profile gastronomic collaborations with chefs at the Grand Hyatt and the Peninsula.
Since debuting in Hong Kong in 2012, Green Monday has been one of the leading proponents of the plant-based movement in the city, and are now championing sustainable lifestyle choices across the Asian region. While many plant-based startups have catered to Western tastes by introducing vegan burger patties and sausages, Green Monday’s RightTreat venture has focused on creating a pork substitute, Omnipork, that is suited to Asian dishes.
Thai cuisine features many pork-based dishes, making pork analogues a much-needed product that could support shifts in food habits in the country without sacrificing on local cultural roots. Due to traditional Buddhist influences, Thailand is also home to a long history of vegetarian food. In order to also appeal to the large Buddhist population in Thailand, RightTreat’s pork analogue is halal-friendly and dubbed “OmniMeat” in the territory. The Green Monday launch arrives at a time when the African swine fever epidemic is wiping out pigs in the region, causing serious health concerns and huge spikes in pork meat prices due to shortages.
Green Monday CEO and Founder David Yeung hopes that their expansion into the country will mark a “milestone connecting Thailand’s cultural roots to a wholesome sustainable future.”
Supporting Green Monday’s launch in Thailand were some influential local celebrities, including television personality Vuthithorn “Woody” Milintachinda and renowned actress Ramita Mahpreukpong, better known as “Gypso”. Woody joined the plant-based movement to raise awareness about the need to make dietary shifts for environmental reasons, highlighting that we now have to “do what’s right for our future generations to come”. A flexitarian herself, Gypso hopes that by supporting Green Monday, she can encourage the general public to rethink their “simple day-to-day choices” when it comes to food.
Already, many restaurants across Bangkok have already joined the international Green Monday programme to provide more plant-based options on their menu. Many of these will be looking to develop plant-based dishes by incorporating OmniMeat, especially in authentic Thai dishes, to cater to local appetites. Some of these restaurant outlets include top hotel dining locations, such as You & Mee at Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Mei Jiang at The Peninsula Bangkok and BBCO at JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok. Independent local eateries and chain restaurants have also joined the movement, such as Sizzler, Veganerie and Coffee Beans by Dao.
“Now people don’t have to give up eating their pad ka prao, larb, and tom yam just because they feel like having plant-based,” said Executive Chef Markus Zuck of Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.
In addition to rolling out restaurant collaborations across the Thai capital, Green Monday are also launching the OmniMeat commercial retail product to Bangkok consumers to encourage more plant-based home cooking at Central Food Hall in the city’s Pathum Wan District.
Images courtesy of Green Monday.