In light of the recent Veterans Day holiday, we’d like to point out the significant progress the military is making in the veg direction. For example, there has been quite a bit of progress at the US Army base, Fort Sill. The Guns and Rockets Dining Facility at Fort Sill, Okla., is setting a new standard for healthy food options by offering a 100 percent plant-based entrée during every meal. The fort commander, Gen. Wilson Shoffner, said he will be having his first plant-based Thanksgiving meal! Read more
Tag Archives: plant-based
The news about plant-based meat products just keeps on coming. Some thought we’d never live to see the day, but some of the biggest purveyors of meat have become some of the biggest purveyors of plant-based food. Competition is heating up in the plant-based protein industry, now worth $14 billion in the US, that Wall Street thinks could grow to be worth $140 billion. We’ve already seen Maple Leaf, a large meat company, acquire Lightlife and Field Roast. Conagra bought Gardein and is getting behind the product, while Nestlé bought Sweet Earth and recently launched their Awesome burger under this brand. Earlier fears that meat companies would acquire plant-based companies only to ruin them have fortunately not been borne out.
Consumers are rushing to try meat substitutes in a number of fast food restaurants, and data show that they’re willing to pay higher prices for the products. A number of high profile fast food restaurants sell plant based foods meat substitutes, and there are more to come. We’ve already written about Burger King’s new Impossible Whopper and the Subway’s forthcoming meatless meatball sub, but others are getting on the bandwagon as fast as they can. Dunkin launched their Beyond sausage sandwich in 163 locations across Manhattan, and KFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken launch in Atlanta sold out in just a few hours. Other chains such as Carl’s Jr, Tim Horton’s, Hardee’s and Del Taco are all getting in on the act.
Almost as exciting is the move by many meat companies to innovate their own new meat substitutes. Tyson foods launched Raised & Rooted, a line of products which includes vegan meat alternatives. They are also investing in a plant-based shrimp company. Kellogg has launched Incogmeato, a “next-gen product line” that includes a “ready-to-cook plant-based burger” and fully prepared plant-based “Chik’n” tenders and nuggets. Kroger, which owns Fred Meyer, will launch its own plant-based burgers, cookie dough, pasta sauce, sausage, deli slices. Hormel Foods has just launched its own line of plant-based meat alternatives. The line, called Happy Little Plants, includes a ground plant-based protein alternative. Hormel also offers plant-based pizza topping items and the Applegate Blend Burger, which combines organic meat and mushrooms.
This looks like a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. The trend is firmly geared toward giving meat-eaters more plant-based options that they can discover and enjoy. While many of them may stick at being flexitarians, rather than moving to full-on vegetarians or vegans, any reduction in the consumption of animal products is welcome in our book!
Amanda Strombom, President of Vegetarians of Washington, gives regular cooking classes to support those interested in moving toward a plant-based diet and learning new ways of preparing food avoiding animal products. Each class focuses on a different aspect of going veggie, whether it’s on specific food groups, on a particular health topic, shopping or even holiday cooking. Plenty of samples to taste are always provided. See the schedule below.
Classes will be held at East Shore Unitarian Church, Bellevue, 7pm unless otherwise noted. A nominal charge of $5 per class helps us cover the cost of the ingredients and materials. Shopping tours are free.
Wed May 8th Save the Earth with a Plant-Based Diet!
One of the best things each of us can do to help take better care of the Earth is to change the food we eat away from animal products. How does a plant-based diet help? We’ll talk about the damage animal agriculture causes to the soil, the water, the air and our climate. Plus you can taste some delicious dishes and get recipes to help you make the switch.
Wed June 12th– Where do you get your protein from?
The first question many people ask when they’re thinking about cutting out meat is about protein. In this class we’ll discuss the benefits of the various plant-based sources of protein available and make some delicious dishes using both beans and meat alternatives.
Wed July 10th Avoiding cancer
We’ll talk about how a plant-based diet can help protect you against getting certain kinds of cancer, and which nutrients are particularly beneficial for fighting cancer. We’ll make delicious dishes using a rainbow of different vegetables to give as many phytonutrients as possible.
Wed Sept 4th Cleaning out your arteries
Eggs are loaded with cholesterol which clogs up your arteries. We’ll talk about how cholesterol, present in all animal foods, impacts your health, particularly your arteries, and we’ll discuss alternatives you can use to eggs in various recipes. We’ll make some delicious egg-free recipes and even try the amazing Vegan Egg.
Wed Oct 2nd Reducing pain with food
Several chronic painful conditions can be helped with a plant-based diet. We’ll discuss how certain foods can help reduce inflammation and reduce pain. Then we’ll make some tasty recipes with anti-inflammatory foods such as chia seeds, mushrooms, turmeric and walnuts.
Wed Nov 6th Healthy Cooking for the Holidays
We’ll talk about how to handle the many issues that come up at holiday times when cooking for or eating with your meat-eating family members, and discuss ideas for special vegan holiday dishes. We’ll make some delicious dishes that all your guests can enjoy.
Wed Dec 4th Shopping for Plant-Based Foods
We’ll meet at Fred Meyer, Bellevue, to tour the Natural Foods section, and learn about label reading, choosing fresh vegetables, and finding some new favorite foods. This class is free.
Wed Jan 8th Losing weight, Defeating diabetes
We’ll talk about what foods are most helpful in losing those extra pounds, and how the same foods can also reduce your insulin resistance and treat Type II Diabetes. We’ll make some really simple starter plant-based meals to get you started on a new way of eating for the New Year.
Wed Feb 5th Ditching Dairy
Dairy products often contain surprising amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol, and come from cows forced to give birth frequently. We’ll talk about the many alternatives to dairy that are available these days, we’ll taste samples of some commercial products and make some simple cheese alternatives of our own.
Supermodel Christie Brinkley was first discovered as a model in the early ’70s and went on to be the only model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated three times — in a row. Since then, she’s walked thousands of runways, launched a skin care line, starred on Broadway and is now writing a book on health and wellness.
So how does she manage, now that she’s into her 60s, to still look so young and healthy? Here’s how she explains it: “I tried some pretty weird diets in the beginning. I did everything from juice fasting to eating one kind of food at a time, to eating a grapefruit first before everything. The only thing that really lasts is a well-balanced diet.”
Christie has been largely plant-based for years. In fact she became a vegetarian when she was only 13, out of love for the animals. She aims to eat a rainbow of different colored plant foods every day. “For many, many, many years I’ve always said I go for as many colors as possible in a day,” Brinkley said.
She starts her day with whole grains topped with fruit and walnuts. Lunch is always a salad of leafy greens, with various fruits and vegetables topped with nuts. For dinner, pasta and veggies are the most popular option. She has found some vegan dairy alternatives she really likes, such as a soy hazelnut coffee creamer and various vegan desserts.
Brinkley believes in being as kind as possible to your body and exercising to feel good and look good. She said, “Feeling good is looking good, and that can translate to an energy you exude.” She’s a huge fan of avocado toast, raw oatmeal, brown rice with lentils, and sweet potato.
While we hope she gives up eating the occasional animal products in her diet, we’re glad that she’s such a good role model for healthy plant-based eating.
Gene Roddenberry, creator of the Star Trek series, brought meaningful and thought-provoking science fiction to “think, question, and challenge the status quo” to audiences across the globe, with the intention of creating “a brighter future”. In 2010, Gene’s son Rod established the Roddenberry Foundation to build on his father’s legacy and philosophy of inclusion, diversity, and respect for life.
As part of the annual Roddenberry Prize grant, which this year focuses on innovative approaches to Climate Change, the foundation recently awarded $250,000 to the vegan startup Green Monday for converting 1.6 million Hong Kong residents to a plant-based diet. Read more
The Great British Bake off is a popular British TV show featuring a group of amateur bakers who are challenged to bake three different creations each week in a limited amount of time. At the end of each week, the judges eliminate one contestant, until the winner of the Great British Bake Off emerges.
This week, the challenges are all focused around using non-dairy products, so it’s been labelled “vegan week”. Some regular viewers are horrified, thinking that baking can’t be done without dairy products, but the show is calculated to appeal to a younger audience, in a country where a significant percentage of the younger population are transitioning to veganism.
The episode kicks-off, as ever, with the signature challenge which will see the bakers tasked with preparing eight savory tartlets – four with one filling and four with another – with a short crust pastry. For their showstopper, the bakers must whip up a vegan celebration cake that is “inventive and visually exciting”. There aren’t any stipulations – the cake can look however the contestants want – but it must be made from plant-based ingredients. It sounds like many contestants may be taking quick lessons about how to use aquafaba – the water left after cooking beans – as the base for vegan meringues!
Look out for the vegan Great British Bake Off (Series 2 Episode 7) when they release the latest season on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, PBS and other TV options.
As Coach Amos Stagg walked out onto the University of Chicago’s Marshall Field for the first day of fall football training in 1907, he had no shortage of strategies to carry his Maroons to the championship. Fans across the nation, having watched in awe as the Maroons clinched a perfect record Western Conference victory in 1905, expected nothing less of the renowned coach. But one of Stagg’s strategies took everyone by surprise: For the 1907 season, he was putting his team on an a vegetarian diet, the same one he himself had been following for nearly two years. Read more
Californians who are in a hospital, nursing home or prison may soon be able to choose a totally plant-based diet. State Senator Nancy Skinner has introduced Senate bill 1138, which requires these institutions to make a vegan meal available to those who request it. While the option of a vegetarian meal was already required, this new bill allows for the option of meat-free, fish-free, dairy-free and totally vegan meals. Read more
Investors who are interested in supporting forward-thinking alternatives to the current food system are likely to be interested in plant-based investment strategies. Plant-based investing means supporting the transition from animal-based products to plant-based products, through the companies in which one invests.
Just as most vegetarians and vegans would never consider buying meat products, those who can invest have no desire to buy mutual funds that own companies that profit from the exploitation of animals. Fortunately, most sustainable funds steer clear of the worst offenders (like factory farms), but a few do own companies such as fast food chains, which sell a lot of animal products, so investors should look into the details. Another way they can support plant-based investing is by investing in fund companies which are engaged in shareholder advocacy on this topic.
Investors are increasingly recognizing the power and promise of this investment strategy – whether they call it plant-based investing, vegan investing, or cruelty-free investing. If you have a financial advisor or mutual fund company, let them know today that you are looking for vegan investment opportunities. The rest of us, along with the animals, will thank you for it!
New research suggests that if the desire was there, this country could grow food to feed over 700 million people — by focusing on plants. That could meet the needs of most of the world’s hungry population.
If U.S. farmers took all the land currently devoted to raising cattle, pigs and chickens and used it to grow plants instead, they could sustain more than twice as many people as they do now, according to a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.