The topic today is all about Rebranding Vegetables for a healthier body and a happier planet. It is a part of the 6 steps to wellness series under the food category.
I feel like meat has become a bit of a status symbol and has been glamourised for many years now. Especially in some communities. All food seems to centre around the main of meat and most dishes at dinner parties are usually meat focussed.
Vegetables have had a hard time haven’t they? Often confined to the darkest corner of the fridge or a cupboard but finally vegetables are having a moment. They are front and centre stage atm.
I have always loved vegetables but had fallen into the ‘we have to eat meat everyday’ mindset. When I decided to make veg the main part of my diet a couple of years ago, I approached it slowly. Initially, I began by adding vegetables to one of my meals per day. I didn’t want to take anything away or take huge leaps. I wanted to gently transition to eating more vegetables so that it didn’t feel like a punishment.
I then began to cook vegetables in a way that appealed to me. That was pretty easy because my mum makes some amazing vegetarian food so usually I would give her a call and make the dish I desired for that day.
Growing up, I never saw vegetables being celebrated on TV or in any form as much as they are now. Veg Power is a new campaign (in partnership with ITV) that seeks to inspire kids, support parents and encourage everyone to enjoy more veg whatever their other choices.
‘Our kids are bombarded with advertising all day, but only 1.2% of the food and drink advertising on TV is for veg. No wonder so few are eating enough! To draw attention to this challenge we launched an advertising competition in collaboration with Sir John Hegarty and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.’ VegPower
The duo from Honey and Co who grew up in the Middle East, talked about how vegetables were celebrated on TV adverts in the Middle Wast whilst they were growing up. I am glad that our kids will see positive messages around vegetables on telly soon in the UK.
The benefits of a mainly vegetarian/plant based diet are many including:
- They tend to be higher in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fibre. Healthy vegetarian/plant based diets are abundant with vitamins B1, C, and E, folic acid, magnesium, and iron while also being low in cholesterol and saturated fats.
- A vegetarian diet can reduce the risk of lifestyle based illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Hypertension, Stroke.
- A recent study found that meat and dairy production is responsible for 60 per cent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 is a major polluter and dramatically harms our environment by adding to the greenhouse effect and causing global warming.
- Eating just one or two less meaty meals per week could make a significant difference. It’s estimated that a meat-based diet creates seven times more greenhouse gas emissions than one that’s plant based, so embracing Meatless Mondays could mean a lot for the planet.
- Factory farming exhibits some of the most severe examples of animal cruelty for food production. Factory farming is an absolutely horrifying business, the focus is on production and profit, the well-being of the animals and workers involved is nearly non-existent. It all comes down to money.If you choose organic meat, it is usually more expensive. Therefore naturally you would likely cut down on the amount of meat you would eat.
There are a variety of ways to enjoy vegetables such as sautéing, grilling, roasting, dunking them, having them in a soup, eating them as a curry, in a samosa..the possibilities are endless. I will be sharing more and more veg recipes with you guys soon and I hope to focus on recipes that are quick to make and inexpensive too.
I think it is time to start celebrating vegetables and making them the hero of the plate. I think the rebranding has already begun with food writers like Anna Jones, Ella Woodward, Yotam Ottolenghi and Meera Sodha elevating vegetables through their recipes. Interestingly only 1 of them is Vegan. So I am not saying that you need to cut meat out altogether with immediate effect. I am saying that we need to reduce our meat intake for the sake of our bodies and the planet. Let me know your thoughts..:)