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Eat. Live. Do. Well: Plant Forward
Eat. Live. Do. Well: Plant Forward

A New Way of Eating: There’s a relatively new buzz term around the food world that you may or may not have heard of, plant forward.  Plant forward focuses on more vegetable centric dishes with meat playing more of a supportive role.  Think blended burgers, stir-fry’s or grain bowls where meat is almost like a condiment.  Flavors are bold and it’s all about the dish’s deliciousness whether it happens to be vegan or vegetarian, or not.  Diners aren’t interested in completely removing meat from their diets, so embracing a diet that is mostly plants with some meat here and there provides a comfortable middle ground.

The Challenge with Red Meat: Conventional animal agriculture is resource intense and less than stellar for the environment.  Ruminate animals release methane gas into the atmosphere which is about twenty five times more intense than carbon dioxide.  Let’s face it, our country’s enormous appetite for beef is not so great for our health and the health of our planet.  While most of us eat enough protein overall, the type of protein foods we are choose could use some improvement.  Shifting to legumes and other plant proteins can add important nutrients and reduce saturated fat.  According to the NRDC, beef is approx. 34 times more carbon intensive than beans and legumes, pound for pound.

How to Eat More ‘Plant Forward’: Chefs are not only swapping out red meat for other animal proteins, but also creating insanely delicious plant forward menus that can be better for our waistlines and the environment.  Load up your plate with more vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes.  Rebecca, RD advises that being plant forward doesn’t necessarily mean becoming a vegetarian. Simple changes like cutting your normal meat portion in half and doubling your usual serving of vegetables, can really make an impact on your health. Or just participate in meatless Mondays by going vegetarian one day a week can not only aid in your health but in the environment as well.