Why mostly plant-based?

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There is so much noise out there in the nutrition space. Conflicting noise. Shouty my-way-is-the-only-way noise.

That's not what it's about here at plant stash.

The one thing nobody will disagree with is that people these days aren't eating enough plants. 97% of the US population don't even reach the minimum recommended daily intake of fibre, and that trend is held across the western world. And where do you find fibre? Plants.

If you want to take your plant stash and add grilled salmon - knock yourself out. If you want to melt cheese on top of your bean chili - go crazy.

In the spirit of full disclosure - I am not a vegan. I class myself as “mostly plant-based”, as I’ll occasionally eat seafood. I believe that eating mostly plants leads to optimal health, but I’m not here to dictate to you. I’d just love for you to experience the health benefits of eating more plants, by making plant-based eating dead easy.

If you’re interested to know more about why “mostly plants” is my personal choice - check out the below.

OPTIMAL HEALTH

Eating a diet rich in plant foods has a myriad of positive health benefits, and has been shown to prevent, treat and even reverse many common causes of death. Issues like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and many cancers can all be things of the past when eating a whole-foods plant-based diet. In the absence of disease, you also experience improved digestion, more energy, faster recovery from exercise, and an easily maintained body weight without a sense of deprivation. A whole-foods plant-based diet is, in the end, a diet of abundance rather than restriction.

There are a million great resources out there for those looking to learn more about the nutritional benefits of eating this way. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Nutrition Facts Org - run by Dr Michael Greger, on this site you’ll find hundreds of videos summarising the outcome of scientific studies on a wide range of topics. Dr Greger covers broad subjects like “how much fruit is too much?”, and “is cheese really bad for you?” along with studies addressing more specific maladies such as “how to lower heavy metal levels with diet” and “the role of the gut microbiome in autism”. Dr Greger has also released a great book titled “How Not To Die” that summarises his studies and translates them into actionable strategies.

  • Food Choices - a really great documentary that covers the high level nutritional benefits of whole-food plant-based eating. You can find it on Netflix, or click the link to head to their home website and find alternate distributors.

  • What the Health - another great documentary (you might be able to tell I have a bit of a love for doco’s), this one looks at the food industry and how it shapes what we eat. Pretty eye-opening.

  • Food Inc - yet another interesting documentary, this one takes a look at the animal agriculture industry and how it is developing over time towards more factory-farming. May be available on Netflix in your area, but if not I’m sure you’ll find a streaming option online.


ANIMAL CRUELTY

This one is tough, because for a lot of people the death of animals is seen as a natural way of life and part of being at the top of the food chain. While I can appreciate that mindset (I even eat fish sometimes myself), I think that minimising or eliminating our impact on other creatures is a much more harmonious way to live. It’s really easy to disassociate ourselves from how the meat arrives at our plate, as it is done behind closed doors and all we see is this faceless packaged food product. The way I see it, I know there is absolutely zero chance I could be ok with killing a cow, pig or chicken myself, so I’m not going to eat it just because someone else did it for me.

There is one movie and one documentary that each had a huge impact on me in this space:

  • Earthlings - this one is truly horrifying, and shows the different ways that humans abuse animals. It is centred on live recordings of slaughterhouses for all kinds of animals, and gives you some real perspective on what it is like. While the part about seafood didn’t affect me so much for some reason, the rest REALLY did.

  • Okja - this is a little more obscure, as it’s a movie about a CGI super pig being raised in the countryside. I thought I wouldn’t like it but it was actually great, and really brought home the idea that animals are worth saving. Pretty distressing, so be warned!


ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

There are so many statistics about climate change and environmental destruction that center on animal agriculture. No one would disagree that it is completely unsustainable for everyone to eat meat at the levels currently seen in the western world, because the earth is simply not big enough to support that amount of animal production. Animal agriculture is simultaneously the largest cause of deforestation and the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Not a winning combination. We are all great at putting our heads in the sand about the effect of our meat-eating on climate change, but the truth here is ultimately unavoidable. Eating a plant-based diet is hands-down the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the planet.

There is one documentary that summarises the whole environmental sitch:

  • Cowspiracy - amazing documentary that covers the environmental impact of animal agriculture, along with the reasons why reduced meat consumption is not currently being lauded as a way to avert climate change.

  • Before The Flood - yet another documentary, this one by National Geographic investigates the likely impact of climate change and all of the things that we can do about it (e.g. reduced meat consumption, alternate energy sources, etc.). Doesn’t hurt that Leonardo Di Caprio is the narrator, and there is some great scenery.