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77th Annual Golden Globes Serves Vegan Meal for All

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77th Annual Golden Globes Serves Vegan Meal for All
King oyster mushroom scallops were served as anvegan entree at the 77th Annual Golden Globes. Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

And the winner is … planet Earth!


The 77th annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday made history by becoming the first major awards show to go vegan, The Los Angeles Times reported.

"Over the holidays, we took time to reflect on the last year and began thinking about the new year and the decade ahead," Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) President Lorenzo Soria said in a Facebook post Thursday. "The climate crisis is impossible to ignore and after speaking with our peers, and friends in the community, we felt challenged to do better."

Doing better meant serving an entirely plant-based meal at the first major awards show of the season, which is organized by the HFPA. The dinner began with a chilled golden beet soup and continued with wild mushroom risotto, king oyster mushroom scallops, and roasted baby purple and green Brussels sprouts and carrots, The Associated Press reported.

"The food we eat, the way we grow the food we eat, the way we dispose of the food is one of the large contributors to the climate crisis," Soria told The Associated Press.

Indeed, animal agriculture contributes around 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, HuffPost noted. A 2018 study found that adopting a vegan diet was probably the single-biggest thing an individual could do to reduce their environmental impact.

"A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use," study leader and University of Oxford professor Joseph Poore told The Guardian at the time. "It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car."

The HFPA also took a stand against plastic pollution by working with Icelandic Glacial to serve water in glass bottles.

The menu change was a bit of a challenge for the kitchen staff at the Beverly Hilton, where the event was being held. That's because the hotel's executive chef Matthew Morgan was only told to prepare a vegan meal a few days before Christmas, NPR reported.

Morgan said his team had planned to prepare around 150 to 200 plates of vegan food, and then had to scale that up to 13,000.

"At first, it was a little shocking, but we were happy to make that change," Morgan told NPR, adding, "I really believe in what we're trying to represent and what we're trying to accomplish - the message that we're sending."

The vegan menu was the brainchild of actor Joaquin Phoenix, who also took home the best actor in a drama award for his performance in Joker, Variety reported. Sources said Phoenix had proposed the idea to the HFPA.

"First I would like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change, it's a very bold move, making tonight plant-based," he said during his acceptance speech.

A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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