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Plant-based food options improve Loyola’s conscience


Following the increasing trend of interest in plant-based foods, Loyola has joined the movement with a few new additions to the cafeteria. In Boulder, the sandwich station has added dairy-free cheese as well as plant-based deli meat alternatives in addition to featuring “Meatless Monday” meals and a new plant-focused section of the cafeteria. Iggy’s now sells dairy-free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, almond milk, and vegetarian frozen meals. Now more than ever, eating plant-based is easy and delicious at Loyola, but what has spurred this recent trend incorporating more plant-based food into our cafeteria?

There are three components to plant-based eating that has made the movement so popular. The first is the health-related benefits from a more plant-based the diet. According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, plant-based diets facilitate maintaining a healthy weight, improving cholesterol levels, prevent certain diseases, and more.

Plant-based eating is one of the best ways to care of your body. It’s a diet  packed with tons of fiber from grains and starches, micronutrients from vegetables, and protein from nuts, seeds, and legumes.

The second reason that plant-based diets are becoming more popular is their benefit to the environment and their overall sustainability. The United Nations conducted a study on climate change and found that animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than all transportation combined. By cutting back on meat, you can do a lot of good for the planet without having to give up your car!

Plant-based easting provides a more environmentally-friendly alternative, since animal agriculture contributes to water pollution, methane emissions, and deforestation. Environmentalists are moving toward eating more plants to combat climate change through their plate and support sustainable agriculture.

Third, the ethical aspect of a diet without animal products certainly plays as a motivation for many plant-based eaters.

Almost everyone can agree that factory farming is not an ideal situation for animals since they are often harmed unnecessarily, live in filthy conditions, and are killed at an outstanding rate: 9.2 billion land animals were killed in the United States for human consumption in 2015, according to the Human Society.

Some people who notice these abuses try to buy humane products, like cage-free eggs, yet the most ethical, eco-friendly, and healthy option is to abstain from these products altogether. By cutting out just chicken in your diet, you could save almost 30 chickens annually from slaughter, not to mention more if you share this information with friends and family to encourage them to do the same.

So, as the trend in plant-based eating gains momentum, try out the black bean burger at Boulder or the dairy-free Ben and Jerry’s at Iggy’s and know that your actions can lead to better personal health, a cleaner environment, and less suffering for animals.

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Plant-based food options improve Loyola’s conscience