Why a Plant-Based Diet?

(Photos above by: Annie Oliverio)

I strongly believe that eating “animal-free” is healthier for us, the planet and, of course, the animals. The easier it is to adopt a vegan lifestyle, the more people will choose it. Many home cooks are now looking to add more vegetables into their weekly menu plan, serving at least one wholly plant-powered meal each week. (Get the recipes pictured above, below in this blog.)

But why even consider going “veggie” in the first place? Well, for one thing, it’s one of the best things we can do to support the environment. According to the Center for Biological Diversity, “Animal agriculture accounts for at least 14.5 percent—and, according to some studies, as much as 51 percent—of greenhouse gas emissions, 50 percent of antibiotic use and 37 percent of pesticide use.”(1) The vegan publication, VegNews reports: “It takes 100 to 200 times more water to produce a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of plant foods.” (2) Wow, that’s a lot of H2O! With issues of record droughts facing parts of the U.S. and the rest of the world, we can actually make a real difference in the water supply by reducing meat consumption, and this is no small thing.

Of course, the foremost reason to forego animal foods is out of concern for the welfare of—and overall compassion for—animals. According to the animal protection organization, Farm Sanctuary: “Far from the idyllic, spacious pastures that are shown in advertisements for meat, milk, and eggs, factory farms typically consist of large numbers of animals being raised in extreme confinement.”(3)

Another reason to consider adding more organic, vegan meals to your diet is to achieve better personal health. Processed foods, are not the best choices to help maintain a fit body, so adding more whole foods to our diets on a regular basis is certainly a great way to start on the path to supporting good health. The founder and executive director of the Wellness Forum, Dr. Pam Popper, states: “There are few people who disagree with the idea that eating a better diet is the key to enjoying better health, and an increasing body of medical evidence shows that many degenerative diseases can be stopped and even reversed by eating the right diet: one based on whole plant foods.” (4)

So…Why a Plant-Based Diet? It’s good for the animals, the environment, and your body!


(Photo by: Annie Oliverio)

Banana-Raspberry Mousse
Makes 4 Servings

10 ounces firm silken tofu
1 large, firm banana
¼ cup raspberry preserves (see note)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
 
Put the tofu, banana, raspberry preserves, maple syrup and vanilla in a blender and process until completely smooth. Spoon the mixture into four dessert dishes and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Serve cold.
 
Chef’s Note: You may use apricot, blueberry or strawberry preserves in place of the raspberry variety.




(Photo by:
Annie Oliverio)

Hungry Guy Burgers



(Photo by:
Annie Oliverio)

Roasted Cauliflower Cutlets with Lemon-Caper Sauce



(Photo by:
Annie Oliverio)

Festive Kale Salad



(Photo by:
Annie Oliverio)

Four-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies



(Photo by:
Annie Oliverio)

Mac n Peas


NOTES

1) http://takeextinctionoffyourplate.com/extinction-free_bbq/index.html

2)  http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=4425&catId=3

3)  http://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/factory-farming/

4)  Jazzy Vegetarian, Laura Theodore, Book Publishing Company, 2011.