Whether you’ve always been conscious on the effects you have on the environment through your diet, or you’ve recently been spurred into action as Cape Town’s drought starts to look more and more like doom’s day, one thing’s for sure: a vegetarian or meat moderate diet is good for the Earth.
In fact, a vegan diet has a greater impact on the environment than the purchase of a hybrid car, or giving up showers for 6 months. Why’s that you ask? Simple. 30% of the world’s land mass is used to raise animals for food production – leading to deforestation for relatively small return. It also takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce the same amount of meat as it would take 25 gallons to produce wheat.
Now that’s not to say you’re expected to up and completely change your diet today, but thinking of ways to lessen your meat intake is one way you can contribute to a happy planet. For a lot of people, the concern is their health. What will you be missing out on by excluding meat? For most, the obvious answer seems to be protein but it doesn’t have to be.
Here are 3 delicious, protein-rich, meatless foods you can add to your plate and do your part for Cape Town’s drought:
- Soy and tofu: the king of the plant-based diet is soy (and tofu which is made using soy). Soy beans are complete proteins which means it contains all 9 of the amino acids our own bodies cannot produce on their own. Brands like Fry’s provide you delicious meat substitutes using soy, and almost every convenience and grocery store stocks soy milk so you can make sure you still get your daily cappuccino.
- Quinoa: this yummy grain is perfect for your morning or evening protein intake because it can be used as a savoury rice substitute or as a sweet base for a breakfast fruit bowl. Quinoa is not only seriously high in protein, it’s also low in cholesterol and high in iron (another major concern for those wanting to go meatless).
- Peanut butter: who doesn’t love a good peanut butter and jam sarmie, or fresh-cut apples smothered in creamy goodness? The good news is, peanut butter can help you get enough protein while you snack. On top of that, it offers you fiber and heart-healthy fats as an added benefit.
Moderating your meat intake and helping to save the planet doesn’t mean your health has to suffer. These are just 3 of the ways you can ensure your body get’s what it needs to be happy and healthy while maintaining a veggie diet.