Spring renews our focus on health

Spring brings renewed enthusiasm for all sorts of endeavors; it’s also a superb second chance to actualize those New Year's resolutions favoring more exercise and healthy eating.

The shift toward healthy foods is omnipresent. Fast-food chains such as Chipotle, Starbucks, Subway, Taco Bell and Wendy's all offer plant-based options. Vegan recipes are part of most food websites. Global Meat News reports that nearly half their consumers are reducing meat intake.

The financial community is taking note of innovative plant food start-ups such as Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods. According to Gallup, plant food sales grew 8.1 percent in 2017 and exceeded $3.1 billion last year. Britain's The Economist declared 2019 “Year of the Vegan.”

Reasons abound: The World Health Organization links processed meat consumption with elevated cancer risk. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend reduced meat consumption. The media keep exposing factory farm atrocities. And animal agriculture is a chief culprit in climate change.

We can celebrate spring by checking out the rich collection of plant-based food options in our local supermarkets. An internet search on vegan foods offers an unending variety of recipes.

William Cortez

Williamsburg

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