Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Restaurant chain Wahaca ditches steak due to carbon footprint

20/04/2023

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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Mexican restaurant Wahaca has made the bold decision to completely remove steak from its menus for the good of the environment.

The chain, founded by MasterChef winner, Thomasina Miers, is cutting out red meat so that it can do its bit to improve its carbon footprint.

The move is coming into force across all its 13 branches in the UK, and will mean some old favourites like their steak and cheese tacos will be getting the chop.

wahaca steak tacos

Wahaca’s steak tacos have been a menu hit for years (Credit: Wahaca)

READ MORE: Thomasina Miers on why we should all be eating insects soon

“Being conscious that meat and dairy products are among the biggest culprits from an emissions perspective has led to us expanding our vegetarian and vegan offering in recent years,” said Thomasina Miers as she addressed the change.

“And we wanted to look at a way of reducing the amount of meat dishes further, while still offering truly tasty options for those that still enjoy eating it.

“The result has been the decision to remove all steak dishes from the menu, with beef fans still having the option of a delicious slow-cooked beef tacos and a burrito, but with a whole host of lower carbon dishes for our customers to try and, hopefully, enjoy.

“Doing the right thing for the planet is never a simple journey, but by making these changes we continue our commitment towards being as sustainable as it’s possible for us to be, while exploring new ways to push ourselves even further.”

wahaca cuts steak menu

Wahaca made the call to cut out steak for the environment (Credit: Alamy)

READ MORE: There’s more to Mexican food than tacos – all the other dishes you need to know

The removal of steak is just the latest in a string of initiatives Wahaca has adopted in a bid to curb climate change.

Last year, the chain started displaying the carbon footprint of dishes on its menus.

Commending the new decision, Juliane Caillouette-Noble, Managing Director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) added: “Ever since becoming a founder member of the SRA, Thomasina and the team at Wahaca have demonstrated genuine leadership and creativity in the search to source and serve its customers dishes that taste great and do good.

“Taking a break from steak is typical of the Wahaca way of addressing the meatiest challenge – climate change – in a pioneering and planet-friendly way, while maintaining most of their menu favourites.”

As you’d expect from such a radical move, there was a lot of praise online, as well as some cynicism. 

“All part of the self-flagellating trend in which we strip away the things that give us enjoyment in pursuit of environmental goals we cannot achieve,” wrote one naysayer, whilst another branded the whole thing “ridiculous virtue signalling.”

“I don’t need to be lectured to by a restaurant. I’ll just vote with my feet and go elsewhere,” said somebody else. 

But for all the criticism, the vast majority of feedback was positive. 

“Great news. It’s a massive cut back in carbon footprint but most of all it a right step to animal rights,” said someone else over on Wahaca’s Facebook page. 

Whilst another person wrote: “Great decision. Hopefully more restaurants follow.” 

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