National Vegetarian Week, 14 -20th May 2018

National Vegetarian Week, 14 -20th May 2018


Many people have grown up in homes where meat is always on the menu, and the idea of having meal without meat seems strange. National vegetarian week, now celebrating its 26th year, is about exploring the easy and delicious ways to include more vegetarian meals in our diet.

 

 

Simple swaps:

  • Instead of a ground beef taco try using beans (such as black beans), lentils or soya mince.
  • Instead of a meat based lasagñe try using spinach and ricotta or mixed vegetables.
  • Instead of a chicken stir fry try using edamame beans, aubergine or tofu.
  • Instead of steak strips try using mushrooms; these can be marinated in spices prior to cooking for added flavour.
  • Instead of a meat stew try using chickpeas or legumes.

Remember, the aim is not just to omit meat as part of your meal but to ensure your body gets plenty of nutrients through other ways.

For some meat free recipe ideas click here.

Vegetarian meals are not just for vegetarians; more people are trying meat free days (such as #MeatfreeMonday) for several reasons such as:

Health

Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories but high in nutrients and healthy unsaturated fats. Research highlights that those who follow a plant based diet are less likely to suffer from a number of health related issues including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, some diet-related cancers, diverticular disease, obesity, constipation and gallstones.

With 3 out of 5 Gibraltarian adults being overweight, and figures increasing in our children, eating less meat seems a simple way to influence a healthy balanced diet.

Vegetarians are more likely to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables each day than the general population; a diet high in nutrients remains vital for the health, growth and maintenance of the body.

Alan (The Vegetarian Society)

 

Environment

Livestock farming is responsible for almost 20% of all the greenhouse gas emissions resultant from human-related activities.

Methane has 25 times the global warming impact than carbon dioxide, and a single cow can produce around 500 litres of methane a day.

A plant-based diet will help combat climate change, soil, air & water pollution, ocean dead zones, antibiotic resistance and many others problems caused by the industrial production of livestock.

Winnie (The Vegetarian Society)

 

Economy

A vegetarian diet is considerably cheaper than a meat based diet, whilst including greater nutrition through more servings of fruit vegetables and whole grains. Dried beans and pulses also have a considerably longer shelf life which means the savings continue. Specific calculations are often difficult, but a study in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition estimated a minimum save of £595 per year on a vegetarian diet, despite splurges in spending for example on extra virgin olive oil as opposed to sunflower.

 

Take the opportunity to try a vegetarian meal this week, and share your meals/ recipes online #NationalVegetarianWeek