Opinion: Going plant-based

The popular food delivery service, My Food Bag, offers a plant-based option | Image from My Food Bag

If you’ve watched Game Changers or Cowspiracy on Netflix, the term plant-based will already sound familiar. In the past few years this phrase has sky-rocketed in popularity and pushed vegans and vegetarians aside as the new kid on the block. The term was wisely marketed to appeal to both meat eaters and milk drinkers. But what is it? 

Imagine vegans and vegetarians as an exclusive country club with strict rules and hours to maintain an elite membership. Now think of plant-based as a public park with no rules or hours but an emphasis on being active. Wānaka is definitely on-board with this plant-based craze and at nearly every restaurant and cafe there is at-least one plant-based option, with more and more popping up each day. For those keen to get a taste for what all the hype is about head to Soul Food Kitchen, Big Fig or Fedeli for a plenitude of options. 

“There are a lot of reasons to eat more plants, and a lot of misconceptions about what that means. What we’re trying to do at plant-based on a budget is to show how affordable, easy, and delicious eating a plant-based diet can be, how you don’t have to shop at specialty grocery stores or restock your pantry with all kinds of unfamiliar products and substitutes, and, most of all, how you don’t have to sacrifice time, taste, or money in the pursuit of healthier, tastier eating,” said a spokesperson from Queenstown Vegan Society. And added, “Though all of our recipes are plant-based, we’re not advocating a political agenda, and we’re not making a list of Things You Shouldn’t Eat. We’re just a bunch of people who love food and cooking, and want to share some of the recipes and tips we’ve learned along the way”.

The beauty of being plant-based is anybody can drop in and try it out, are welcome to stick around or get out as quickly as they came. The idea is centered around food in the form that it emerges from the ground. Less processing and more wholesome nutrition. Since everyone has at some point tried a vegetable, this is a park that everyone is familiar with. Really it’s a gateway drug. Instead of abandoning milk completely, plant-based milks offer a multitude of options to try in lieu of cow’s milk. 

Here's the brilliance and why this trend has caught fire, it's not stating what you can and cannot eat, it’s presenting different alternatives to a diet most have been shown their entire lives. If one finds themselves going to the park more and more often, then perhaps the country club is worth a try. But after a weeks stay maybe a Bluff Oyster was just too hard to pass up or the steak and cheese pie had you at ‘hello’, the country club may not be so quick to welcome you back, but plant-based park is waiting there with open arms. 


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