Exhibition: Food for Peace and Justice
Image: Jashim Salam
Eating less meat is crucial for our health and the health of the planet.
The effects of the climate crisis are vast and devastating; from rising sea levels and the collapse of ecosystems to human migration, conflict and harm to human health, it is imperative that we act now.
It is, therefore, no surprise that in order to tackle the climate crisis we need to change our eating habits. It is essential that we all become much more ‘meat-conscious’ in order to cut back on global meat production. Of course, our governments and the food industry have a responsibility to make it simpler for the population to cut back on meat, but we can start to incorporate small impactful changes to our everyday lives too.
More and more plant-based alternatives are appearing on supermarket shelves, however, a lot of the time, particularly in the fast food industry, vegan options are offered up merely as a token to tick a box in an industry driven by selling huge quantities of meat. For the good of our health and the planet this has to change.
Challenging yourself to go vegan for a year, month, week or even a day will have the biggest positive impact on the environment, as you will be cutting out the most environmentally damaging food category from your diet. The Vegan Calculator is a helpful tool to help keep a record of how much water, grain, forest and the number of animals you will be saving by going vegan – click here!
A vegan’s diet is anything that doesn’t come from an animal, and the most common vegan foods are veggies, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, tempeh, seitan and tofu. There are many benefits to going vegan not only for the environment but also for your health, however, it’s important to remember that everything comes down to the quality of the food consumed and balanced nutrition.
Find your favourite plant-based milk. There are plenty of milk alternatives with their own health benefits from soya to oat to cashew to almond!
Get the family on board. If you’re cooking for others it will be easier (and there will be more people reducing their carbon footprint) to cook one meal. Try and find some of the excellent meat and cheese substitutes out there.
Aim for progress, not perfection. Set yourself realistic goals and don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t meet them perfectly. Even doing one vegan meal a week will reduce the pressure on our environment (and bodies)
Focus on the benefits. Colourful plates of well-prepped veggies, beans and grains are extremely delicious and nutritious. You could keep a note of how much you’re saving and how much better you feel so you can see the benefits adding up.
Remember the flavour. There are so many different types of tofu, butters, nuts and seeds. Also, lots of flavour comes from spices, herbs, oils, stock, and ready-made sauces (many of which now have vegan versions)
MAX Burgers and their climate positive burgers do not believe it is enough to be climate neutral, they must be climate positive. They include all greenhouse gases in their gas emissions calculations including emissions from farmers lands to their customer’s hands. Over the years MAX has implemented hundreds of measures to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. They also plant trees that absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which offsets their emissions by 110%! Read more about MAX burgers here.
Jaap Korteweg is a 9th generation farmer and the founding father of The Vegetarian Butcher. Having witnessed the of swine flu and mad cow disease disasters and its impact on animals, Jaap decided to become vegetarian and took his farming to a new level. Jaap missed the taste of meat and realised he needed to find something that could satisfy his craving for animal meat without actually eating animals. After three-years of searching, he found innovative meat substitutes with incredible taste and texture, and with the help of top chefs he added flavour to the products which he took from experience as a meat farmer. Jaap and his team’s aim is for meat enthusiasts to experience vegetarian meat products and to realise they don’t have to miss out on anything if they leave meat out of their diet, however long that’s for. Their ambition is to become the biggest butcher in the world. Read more about the Vegetarian Butcher here.