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in&out of the kitchen – the veg edgetm

Vegetarian and Vegan Meals – Growing Trend or Fading Fad? Demand for Vegetarian and Vegan Meals is Growing. Here’s why.

Meatless meals are being selected more often, and more people are becoming vegetarian or vegan. If you’re a happy committed carnivore, you may be puzzled as to what’s driving this trend! Demand for vegetarian and vegan dishes is here to stay and will continue to grow. Here’s why.

Chef Sara Harrel The Veg Company www.vegcompany.com

Better Health These days, people are more interested in promoting their long term health. Various studies have shown that following a balanced vegetarian diet can have a positive impact on health - including fewer cases of some cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians tend to have lower blood cholesterol and lower rates of hypertension; tend to be leaner, thus avoiding many of the risks associated with obesity. Not convinced? Knowledgeable groups have reviewed many studies and concur on the health benefits of a vegetarian or mostly plant based diet. “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dieticians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” They state that “vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle”. “Eat mostly foods of plant origin, limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat” recommends The World Cancer Research Fund (wcrf.org), for the prevention of cancer and for cancer survivors. These recommendations (amongst others – see chart) are a consensus after an exhaustive 7 year review by a panel of 21 experts of 7,000 published studies, independently verified for scientific validity. Dr. Rachel Thompson, WCRF’s Science and Programme Manager and a registered dietitian, notes that this review focused on the relationship of diet, physical activity and body fatness to cancer, and not other causes like smoking.

34 World Association of Chefs Societies

Dietary, Physical Activity and Body Fatness Recommendations for Prevention of Cancer* Recommendations Body fatness Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight. physical activity Be physically active as part of everyday life. foods and drinks that promote weight gain Limit consumption of energy-dense foods avoid sugary drinks. plant foods Eat mostly foods of plant origin. animal foods Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat. alcoholic drinks Limit alcoholic drinks. preservation, processing, preparation Limit consumption of salt. Avoid mouldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes). dietary supplements Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone. breastfeeding Mothers to breastfeed; children to breastfed. cancer survivors Follow the recommendations for cancer prevention: Greener Planet Cars or Cattle – which are more damaging to the environment? Surprise! “The livestock sector causes more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport”, states the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It warns “The environmental

World Chefs Magazine 2  

Issue 02, Anno 2010 July - December, Culinary Competitions Special