Oxfordshire County Council has supported more use of vegan foods for both Climate and environment reasons. Councillor Pete Sudbury, Cabinet member for Climate Change and Environment, explains:
“When we look at climate change, it is clear that farming is critical to its mitigation and adaptation: well-managed soils sequester carbon, those well-managed soils absorb more rain and absorb it faster, reducing flood risks, increasing resilience to drought and growing healthier, more nutritious food.”
Councillor Sudbury argues that:
“Converting the Council’s meals to vegan food demonstrates plant-based food is tasty. There is no suggestion that the Council is forcing anyone to give up meat eating. Pasturing or growing food for animals takes over 3/4 of all global farmland, increasing pressure to convert natural habitats to farmland, driving the 6th mass extinction. For animal and human health, the best advice is “eat less meat, eat better meat”: Oxfordshire-grown meat is that “better meat”.”
Councillor Sudbury notes:
“Following the National Farmers Union(NFU) writing to us about the Vegan food motion, I reached out and started a positive dialogue with the NFU. I met with their local representative, along with County Officers responsible for climate, food strategy, nature recovery and representatives of public health. We have agreed an initial program of exploratory farm visits and discussions. We will encourage, and use our buying power, to support the progression of Oxfordshire farming towards a regenerative and climate positive future. We will commit to a food strategy that makes Oxfordshire-grown food the first choice for all of our operations, and work to create and promote a “grown in Oxfordshire” brand. Farming is one our best hopes for a carbon-neutral future, and we will assist Oxfordshire’s farmers in their mission to create that.”
What is veganism?
The vegan diet is a type of diet that does not include any animal products. This includes meat, eggs, dairy products, and other animal-derived substances. There are a variety of reasons to become a vegan, but the most popular reason is to avoid harming animals. The vegan diet is beneficial for many reasons because it’s lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories than an omnivorous diet. It’s also naturally high in fibre and low in sodium with no saturated fats or trans fats.
What does a vegan diet look like?
The main difference between a vegan diet and a traditional diet is the omission of animal-based products. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy indulgent foods. There are plenty of vegan versions of your favourite meat dishes, like tofu bacon, seitan steak, or chickpea veggie burgers. The difference between Vegan and Vegetarian is the vegans do not eat and dairy products or eggs.
Stick to whole foods
A vegan diet is typically high in fibres, low in saturated fats, and rich in antioxidants. The only caveat is that you need to be sure to eat real, whole foods. Too many people think eating vegan means eating processed foods like fake meat substitutes or highly-processed frozen snacks.
While these items are technically vegan, they’re not doing your body much good or nutritional. The key to eating well on a vegan diet is sticking to whole food staples like vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, nuts, legumes, soy and seeds. These are all vegan and will help you stay healthy without breaking the bank.
Eat healthy fats to help you stay energized
One of the most important nutrients in your diet is fat. Healthy fats are good for you because they improve the absorption of many vitamins and minerals in your body. This is essential when you’re on a vegan diet because it’s easy to fall short on some key nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.
These nutrients can be found in foods like tofu, avocados, nuts, seeds, and dark green vegetables. You should also consider replacing saturated fats with healthier polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats like olive oil or avocado oil.
Eat enough protein
A balanced plant-based diet should include a sufficient amount of protein. Protein is an important building block of the body and supports muscle growth and tissue repair. But, instead of going for animal sources, focus on plant-sources like soybeans, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains. You can also add plant-based protein powders to your smoothies or oatmeal in the morning.
Balance your nutrients
A common issue with many diets is the lack of balance. A vegan diet can be healthy, but it needs to be well balanced. If you’re not careful, you could end up with too much or too little of certain nutrients. For example, if you don’t consume enough protein then your body will start breaking down muscle. If you eat too many carbohydrates without getting enough protein you’ll end up feeling tired and lethargic. By balancing your meals to include different vitamins and minerals, you’ll feel healthier and more energetic overall.