Google’s Free-Food Cafeterias: Company Pushes Workers Away From Meat

OK, Google, where’s the beef?

Slowly, steadily and stealthily, Google has been slipping more and more mushrooms into burgers it serves to workers, while cutting back on the meat. That’s according to a new report on worker-feeding habits at the Mountain View tech giant, whose famously free employee cafeterias offer a multitude of cuisines in upscale food court style.

“Google has slowly increased the percentage of mushrooms in the patty from 20 percent to 50 percent,” said a Fast Company report, referring to the “blended” burger, which falls into the menu group Google calls “flipped” – vegetable-heavy takes on traditional meat dishes.

The surreptitious substitution in the burgers is part of a broader effort to fill Googlers’ bellies with more plant-based foods and less meat, according to the report. “You can’t expect everyone to start loving lentils day one,” Scott Giambastiani, Google’s global food program chef, told Fast Company.

“It’s moving people along a continuum, whether people are eating red meat every day and you ask them to start eating a little more white meat, or they’re already on a white meat kick and it’s a little bit more seafood, or moving even further along to alternative proteins or produce.” When Fast Company visited 14 Google cafeteria food stations, it found that each one “subtly nudges diners to make one choice in particular: eat less meat.

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