For day 5 of her One Meal a Day for the Planet challenge, Oprah had a fantastic, planet-friendly Grilled Cauliflower “Steak.” Cauliflower is very hot these days, for good reason!  While cauliflower is low in calories, it is packed with nutrients.  Just one cup has 77% of the RDA for Vit C!  It is high in fiber, and consumption of fiber-rich veggies is associated with health benefits like reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  Fiber can also help us to maintain a healthy weight. If that weren’t enough, cauliflower is high in antioxidants, which are protective against cancer.  And while you are helping your body in all of these ways, you are helping the planet!  Cauliflower has a low carbon footprint of 0.24 g CO2EQ per gram, while a beef steak that has a carbon footprint of 26.95 g CO2EQ per gram.  Adding plant-based sources of protein such as tofu or beans to your meal would add protein while keeping it planet-friendly.  The greenhouse gas emissions difference between the two steaks is equivalent to those for a 20 mile drive in a 40 MPG car.

This recipe, by Oprah’s chef Raymond Weber can be found in Oprah‘s food diary online.


The 30 day challenge was inspired by Suzy Cameron ‘s new book, The OMD Plan. Her book discusses that switching out one meat-based meal a day for a plant-based meal can make a huge difference to our environment! Every day we are seeing the impacts of climate change, including wildfires, intense storms, and droughts.  Worldwide, these impacts are disproportionately affecting people with the least resources.  With a joint effort we can all help to mitigate #climate change.


Thanks to UCLA students Rachel  Tsao and Claire Miller for their work on this post!


Carbon footprint data are from Heller, M.C. and G.A. Keoleian. 2014. Greenhouse gas emission estimates of U.S. dietary choices and food loss. Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Harwatt et al. (2017)