Plant-based eating: More than labels

Food is one of the most important things you must figure out during your time in university. For many, it’s the first time in your life when you must feed yourself, and there are many decisions to be made.

Finding a balance in the type of food you eat is vital and individual. This article will explore and list some plant-based options for all types of eaters, regardless of whether you consider yourself to be a vegan or vegetarian.

Photo by: Haley Richards

According to Karthik Sekar, the author of “After Meat,” a book about the future of the food industry and its impacts, the world is shifting towards more sustainable meat alternatives due to the ineffectiveness of current practices and the potential for improvement.

“Environmentally, animal agriculture is one of the most destructive industries on the planet. Right now, animal agriculture takes up about a third of ice-free land on the planet. Changing this is one of the best interventions we have toward climate change,” said Sekar.

Today, Sekar explores alternatives to meat that are more nutritious and do less environmental damage.

Importantly, choosing to steer away from animal products is not only for vegans.

Exploring plant-based foods can also provide variety and excitement in your diet while also making an impact.

There are several contenders for delicious plant-based food.

For those interested in a more traditional bar experience, Jane Bond is a perfect choice. With plenty of different meat-free spins on traditional dishes and great ambiance, it’s worth a try.

Jane Bond is the perfect place to bring friends, especially if you’re looking to introduce yourself or friends to meat-free dining.

After a late night out, Meltwich is a staple for feel-good, affordable food. One of the best parts about Meltwich is their incredible number of options, many of which are vegan. Little green markers are spread across their menu, signifying plant-based options for their favorite dishes. Their vegan poutine is delicious and a must-try. Meltwich is perfect for situations when you’re looking for vegan food while out with friends, giving you and your friends the opportunity to try vegan twists on familiar favorites.

In the past, choosing to follow a plant-based diet meant the sacrifice of one’s favorite foods. However, today, plant-based dining can be a moment-by-moment choice with no sacrifice involved.

Sekar’s advice to students looking to transition away from eating meat is to “expand your culinary horizons.”

Part of this involves exploring different cuisines that are accommodating to a vegetarian diet, another being the acquisition of a new set of skills in the kitchen.

According to the Journal of Ethnic Foods, Indian cuisine has been largely vegetarian for thousands of years. This makes Indian food a perfect fit for students interested in exploring different cuisines with plenty of alternatives to meat.

Eating plant-based shouldn’t be reserved for only the vegans or vegetarians among us.

Everybody has the opportunity to contribute to the growing culture of meat-free alternatives around campus, and the chance to discover for themselves how delicious it can be.

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