In observance of Earth Day, North Vegans hosted a potluck on April 18 at the Folwell Community Center. The event gave people a chance to taste food that takes less water and land resources to grow than food typically included in the American meal, and highlighted the relationship between diet and the environment. About 30 people sampled “plant-based dishes on a budget” prepared by North Vegan volunteers. That included authentic Mediterranean-style spiral pasta, “deviled” potatoes, Middle Eastern-style casserole, golden Moroccan cous cous, Cowboy Caviar, potato salad, cumin-seared tofu wraps, savory quinoa, sprouted almond spread on rice crackers, assorted savory chips and coffee date and pumpkin flax brownie cake. The sampling also featured fresh fruit and vegetables; bee-free honey; almond, soy and dark chocolate non-dairy beverages; plant-based mayonnaise; a plant-powered butter-like spread; and a special lemon-rosemary tea. Available to take home were flyers about North Vegans, Easy Vegan Recipes from Around the World; information on what happens to animals raised for slaughter; diet and diabetes and low-fat, vegan meals for families with kids; food coupons; and material on like-minded groups and organizations in the Twin Cities.
Marcie Anderson, founder (200) of North Vegans, spoke about veganism. Surprisingly, eating a plant- based vegan diet has a more powerful impact on the environment than buying locally-grown, buying organic or purchasing a hybrid vehicle. Run-off from industrial farming pollutes water with chemicals and animal waste, often resulting in huge standing lakes of animal waste. The United Nations recently concluded that the U.S. must switch to a vegan diet to combat global warming and rising sea levels destroying coastline communities and habitat. Once animals raised as food graze in an area, little is left for other creatures in the ecosystem. And cattle producers in the U.S. graze their animals freely on public land, enjoying their profits while destroying and rendering barren the same land.
In terms of personal health and wellness, study after study has shown the benefits of veganism. The American Pediatric Association is among the many organizations endorsing a vegan diet. The majority of medical professionals agree that the agricultural industry endangers humans by injecting cows with growth hormones to bring them to slaughter more quickly, and raising cows, pigs and chickens in confined spaces that confine movement and spread disease, then administering antibiotics to the same to keep them alive long enough to slaughter and become the food we consume. (More info on the health benefits of a nutrient-dense plant-based diet and recipes are available through the writings of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and numerous titles such as The Veganist by Kathy Freston.)
North Vegans welcomes anyone interested in caring for the earth, preserving it for present and future generations, maintaining optimum personal health and wellness, learning how to shop for and plan delicious new meals on a budget, preparing appetizing, yet healthy and nutritious meals for their family, and showing compassion and kindness towards animals. North Vegans supports a plant-based diet for everyone, not just an upper middle class that shops at specialty food stores, nor need anyone interested in this lifestyle feel isolated because they live in North Minneapolis. North Vegans offers support, community, mentoring, free shopping tours and more. Like and Follow North Vegans on Facebook and Twitter or join them through Meet up.com. For info by phone contact Ethique Nouveau at 612-320-6161.