Childhood asthma is a major and growing public health problem worldwide. Adults get asthma too. The western, meat-centered diet may partly explain the “asthma epidemic” in the United States.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. The prevalence has been increasing at an alarming rate and has more than doubled in the last decade. Over 9 million children in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma. That’s a lot of children. There are few things more upsetting than a sick child.
There are many benefits to raising your kids on wholesome plant-based foods. It sets up a child for a lifetime of healthy habits. Many people are surprised to learn that the disease process that causes so many chronic diseases in adults start in childhood. You can help your child prevent many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and several forms of cancer. At the same time, you are teaching your child to care for the animals and the earth through their food choices.
Our hearts go out to all those suffering and for all the destruction in the Ukraine. While, understandably, most news is concentrating on the war, we thought this might be a good time to highlight the growing veg trend in the Ukraine.
There are 2 million vegetarians and vegans in the Ukraine and there are an increasing number of vegetarian restaurants to go to and plant-based products to buy. The magazine Vogue Ukraine proclaimed 2020 “the year of the vegan.” Indeed, it has never been easier to be vegan in Ukraine, and it will be a promising country for creating both a powerful veg movement and a competitive marketplace for plant-based foods, once this war is over.
Recently, the Ukrainian company Go Green entered a crowded vegan food market, introducing the first plant-based steak produced in Ukraine. According to the company’s website, the steak looks and tastes like real marbled beef meat. The company also sells other popular plant-based products like vegan ground meat and patties that taste and smell like real beef or fish. In the future, Go Green plans to introduce soy-based cheese and vegan meatballs.
You can find quite a number of vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Kyiv, the capitol, and in other major cities throughout the country such as Odessa on the Black Sea, Kharkiv, the second largest city, Dnipro in the middle of the country and Lviv in the western part. In fact we were surprised at the number of veg and veg friendly restaurants in the Ukraine. In the restaurants, typical Ukrainian made plant-based foods are offered, but you’ll foods from other parts of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
The Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine finally declared veganism as a healthy and appropriate diet for all stages of life. There’s also active animal rights groups in the Ukraine. We hope the country is able to hold onto these vegan and vegetarian trends sufficiently to reinvigorate them in the future.
There’s a perception among some that meat eaters will always pick a meat-centered meal, when at a restaurant or other eatery, but that’s not always the case. Two studies suggest that adding some messaging and increasing the number of veg options, can make a big change when it comes to encouraging a meat eater to order a vegetarian meal. Simple changes to messages on restaurants’ menus can double the frequency of customers choosing plant-based options instead of meat, research on the impact of food on the climate crisis has found.
Meat consumption remains stubbornly high in the US—the average American gobbled down 264 pounds of meat in 2020—and is rising quickly in countries such as China. However, many people are receptive to the idea of switching to vegetarian options in order to help the environment, the research found, with messaging on restaurant menus a potentially significant way of shifting behavior.
Billie Eilish, a vegan pop icon, has just embarked on a world tour named “Happier than Ever”, the title of her 2021 album. This tour is billed as eco-friendly and has a unique vegan twist in that as part of the tour, she is encouraging fans to choose at least one plant-based meal every day for the next 30 days.
To make this tour eco-friendly, she has partnered with Reverb, an environmental nonprofit which is working with Eilish to “green” her tours. Reverb’s Music Climate Revolution program works to not only reduce the tour’s overall environmental footprint but also support initiatives eliminating greenhouse gases. These combined efforts aim to make the tour “climate positive,” meaning it goes beyond achieving net-zero carbon emissions and actively removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Visiting the Disney World Resorts just got a lot more vegan friendly. Following the launch of their plant-based dining guide back in 2019, which helped those seeking healthier, animal- and eco-friendly plant-based options find them at Disney’s themeparks, they’ve now added hundreds more plant-based options. They highlight these items on menus with a specialty plant-based icon: a green leaf. This same icon is also on food carts and kiosks to help guests find plant-based snacks and treats, such as fan-favorite, the vegan version of a Mickey-shaped pretzel.
Many restaurants are recognizing that they need to have tasty vegan options to appeal to those who are already vegan or vegetarian. They are also hoping to entice meat-eaters to give these options a try. The latest restaurant chains to add vegan meat substitutes include Donatos Pizza and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Donatos Pizza is introducing Vegan Pepperoni at nearly 170 locations nationwide, including right here in the northwest. The family owned pizza brand announced the new plant-based pepperoni launch this month in partnership with the plant-based meat brand, Field Roast. It all came about from a desire for the Donatos team to find a way to help their customers achieve their New Year’s resolutions. A lot of people aspire to eat more veggies, so Donatos Pizza decided to roll out plant-based pepperoni as an easy substitute for animal-based pepperoni.
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. There are two types – dry or wet. Unfortunately, no effective treatment exists for the dry form of ARMD, which makes up about 90% of cases, so prevention is key.
At the COP26 conference, running from Oct 31 to Nov 12 in Glasgow, Scotland, every item on the food menu had its climate impact indicated. The COP26 conference is promoted as having the goal of promoting a global response to the climate crisis. While many commitments have been made by various countries participating, most people agree that their promises won’t be nearly enough to reach the goal of only a 1.5 degree increase in average global temperatures, and this was particularly evident in the case of their approach to food.
One of the most impactful ways that this goal could be achieved is by eliminating the consumption of animal products, especially beef. To that end, many organizations and demonstrators have been pushing for the conference to provide only plant-based food during the event, to demonstrate their acknowledgement that meat and other animal products are so devastating to the environment. While the conference organizers weren’t willing to go that far, they did come up with a novel way to educate attendees on the impact of their food choices.
We may be seeing a lot more plant-based options from Starbucks in the near future thanks to its new “Greener Stores” concept – Starbucks’ sustainability campaign that aims to open 10,000 environmentally conscious stores by 2025. Starbucks is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and experimenting with sustainable, especially plant-based food and beverage options. Launched in 2017 alongside the World Wildlife Fund, the program intends to focus on promoting ethically sourced menus and prioritizing sustainable practice. That means more plant-based options.
For instance, at the Starbucks Shanghai Greener Store, over half the menu is plant-based. Oatmilk is used as the default option for most beverages. Starbucks has also introduced two new plant-based beverages, available for a limited time only – Salted Caramel Breve and Salted Caramel Flat White. The store offers a scrumptious variety of plant-based food offerings, including the debut of 15 new food items. A range of plant-based bakery, wraps, sandwiches, salads, cakes and pastries are available to satisfy customers’ craving at any time of the day.
The Greener Stores concept falls under Starbucks’ mission to cut its carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and they want to enhance its new planet-positive practices in order to achieve that goal. CEO Kevin Johnson recognizes the rising demand for sustainable and plant-based options in consumers worldwide, and says that the company would strive to meet this changing demand. “If I were to say what is probably the most dominant shift in consumer behavior, [it] is this whole shift to plant-based [products],” Johnson said. “And that is a shift both in beverage and in food.”
This all sounds pretty good. But it would sound even better if its Shanghai store were followed by one in Seattle. Come on Starbucks!