Airports aren’t known for their culinary choices. Most offer little more than convenience store snacks, coffee, and greasy fast food. But as Americans become increasingly conscious about what they’re consuming, edible options at our nation’s airports are improving — particularly in the plant-based space.
Ranking the quality of our country’s current airport offerings, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) recently released its 2015 list, and the results are revealing.
To calculate the scores, PCRM dietitians analyzed restaurant menus from the 30 busiest airports in the US. Each airport earned a grade, calculated by dividing the airport’s number of eateries serving healthy fare by its total number of restaurants. Kiosks, coffee shops, and breakfast spots weren’t included — only places serving entrees.
So, just in time for your summer travel plans, here’s a rundown on the nation’s most vegan-friendly airports:
Given that Southern California is so partial to a plant-based lifestyle, it’s no surprise that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) soared into first place. According to PCRM, 90 percent of LAX’s restaurants offer “healthful, plant-based meals, including Real Food Meals at Real Food Daily, gourmet broccoli and edamame salads at Lemonade, Martha’s Salad at Homeboy Café, tofu tacos with kimchi at Kogi BBQ Taco Truck, and fresh fruit and vegetables, whole, at The Farmers Market.”
Following Los Angeles, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, and Denver International Airport arrived in the top five. 80 to 84 percent of their restaurants serve plant-based options, and some of the specific items include “beet burgers, ancient grain and black bean bowls, and cruciferous vegetable salads.”
Reaching the runway in last place, sadly, comes Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Only 56 percent of its restaurants offer plant-based options — a failing grade.
Since a plant-based diet is by far the healthiest — proven to prevent chronic ailments like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and many kinds of cancer — it’s more important than ever that airports fly toward the future of food, offering healthy choices to busy travelers.
Check out PCRM’s full report to learn more about American airports and how you can navigate the landscape for healthy, humane food.