No More Excuses

Nuts and seeds are high in protein and can easily be incorporated into everyday meals. Photo by Rorie Stannard.

The western world’s approach to meat consumption does not need to be a hardline rejection of meat products altogether.

However, being conscious about what we put on our tables – like only eating one meat-based meal a week, perhaps – would be a significant step towards reducing our carbon footprint.

Whether it’s price, accessibility, or education, choosing meat substitutes to fit a plant-based lifestyle is becoming easier.

As the world begins to alter its collective ideology around meat consumption and personal carbon footprints, the excuses often used in the past to justify our personal environmental impacts are disappearing.

Beyond Meat More Accessible 

Beyond Meat options, found at places like A&W and Tim Hortons, make it affordable to eat out as a vegetarian or vegan.

Many grocery stores have a wide selection of meatless proteins, making plant-based foods more accessible than ever.

Calgary has dozens of vegan and vegetarian restaurants dedicated to making plant-based meals that appeal to everyone.

“I want to make people aware of the health and environmental benefits [associated with plant-based diets], and allow them to make their decision,” said Manish Bindal, co-owner of Veg-In YYC.

Vegan Options in Beef Country

Veg-In YYC café is a vegan restaurant nestled in Calgary’s downtown core. Manish, along with Sehra Bindal, the restaurant’s creative and culinary talent, opened the café in 2016 as a way to combat the bland vegetarian options commonly offered at other restaurants.

They blend western and traditional recipes to create well-balanced meals that provide high amounts of protein and nutrients.

Manish said social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, are great resources for finding nutritional, vegan, and vegetarian recipes.

Many of these recipes can help with learning how to properly utilize legumes, such as beans and lentils, to consume the necessary daily protein intake.

How Much Protein Do We Need?

Someone who is 200 lbs needs roughly 70 grams of protein per day, according the Harvard School of Public Health, it’s important to know how to get proteins in to a diet with the absence of meat.

Maggie Wysocki, co-host on the popular environment and gardening podcast, ‘From Soil to Soul’, has adopted a plant-based diet for the last four years.

Wysocki said learning how to grow her own food was a major influencer on her decision to eliminate meat from her diet.

“It is hard to fathom the amount of resources it takes to feed the livestock we eat when those same resources could be used to feed so much of the planet,” says Wysocki.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions – specifically those produced by the agriculture industry – are a significant source of the unprecedented rise of the global temperature.

For example, according to the World Resource Institute (WRI), making just a single pound of lamb generates 30 times the GHGs than a pound of lentils.

From Soil to Soul Podcast, hosted by Maggie Wysocki and Dave Hanson, is released every Tuesday wherever you get your podcasts. Veg-In YYC can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and is located at 215 6 ave SE.

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