No matter where you work, anyone who works in an office environment seems to have a common gripe: The neverending flow of junk food! From doughnuts in the morning to pizza for lunch, cupcakes for a special occasion, cookies someone with a penchant for baking always brings in, and candy that's seemingly offered up by the pound, it can feel like having amazing self-discipline is a must if you want to stay on track. Another possible solution: Working at a place like the nonprofit organization, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which actually has a policy mandating that ONLY vegan food may be eaten in its office. No kidding!
The organization advocates for healthy eating, preventive medicine, and ethical clinical research, so they enacted the policy as a way to practice what they preach. They give potential employees a heads-up about the rule when they send an offer letter. Yep, they mean business. At PCRM, it's "go vegan or go home." Literally.
Apparently, employees do go home ... and eat meat or dairy, and the general feeling about that is "don't ask, don't tell." Ha! How crazy, huh?
I've gotta say, this is extreme. While I appreciate what the organization is trying to promote, and it sounds like they're doing a good job inspiring their employees to eat healthier overall and share healthy, homemade breakfasts and lunches, they're missing the mark. Though it has notable benefits, going vegan isn't necessarily for everyone. Nor is it necessarily going to ward off weight gain or other health problems. There is a LOT of vegan junk food out there, from candy bars to fried foods to uber-processed foods, many containing processed soy, which is frequently used as a protein substitute in vegetarian/vegan prepared foods and has been linked to cancer risk.
Furthermore, what about people with special dietary needs? Being hypoglycemic myself, I know I don't feel very well if I don't eat certain sources of lean protein -- often dairy or lean meat -- along with complex carbs. I wouldn't be surprised if other people are in the same boat, and should they not be allowed to work at PCRM if they refuse to eat a vegan substitute? That just doesn't sit well with me, nor should it with an organization focused on smart nutrition and preventative medicine.
What do you think of this workplace policy? How would you feel if your company said "go vegan or go home"?
Image via Moresheth/Flickr