The power plants
While some people find the idea of giving up meat completely incomprehensible, those living happily on plant-based diets will tell you the benefits far outweigh the sacrifice of giving up bacon and biltong! Malindi gives us her top reasons why choosing a vegetarian lifestyle is a good idea.
1. It saves animals. Perhaps the most obvious reason to go vegetarian is to avoid being a part of the slaughter of fish and animals. Globally, the death toll exceeds 70 billion land animals. The number of aquatic animals killed for food is in the trillions.
2. It has enormous environmental benefits. While we all know a vegetarian diet is eco-friendlier, many don’t know the full extent of these benefits. Did you know, for example, that the water required to rear the meat to create one steak is equivalent to two months’ worth of showers? And that cows produce 130 times more waste than the entire population put together?
3. It’s better for your health. Vegetarianism is proven to have numerous health benefits, with lower cholesterol levels, a decreased likelihood of getting cancer or suffering from heart disease or diabetes. Most modern chronic illnesses are directly linked to diet, many of which can be reversed by adopting a more plant-based eating approach.
4. It could benefit the global economy. Dietary changes could have large benefits to society, and the value of those benefits makes a strong case for increased public and private spending on programmes aimed to achieve healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets. If we took all the grain currently used to feed livestock and distributed it globally, we could end world hunger.
5. It can prevent species extinction. For example, raising livestock and cultivating the feed needed to rear them is responsible for 91% of Amazon deforestation. And deforestation is not only a key cause of climate change, but results in species extinction. Over fishing is one of the biggest threats to our planet. Entire species have been nearly obliterated by the demand for seafood.
6. Another great reason is that . . . it’s delicious! My goal is to dispel the idea that plant-based meals are tasteless, textureless mush. A vegetarian diet can incorporate some of the world’s most delicious foods. Going veggie also forces you to think outside the box when it comes to cooking, and in this way you’ll discover a whole world of recipes and flavours. Cooking consciously and sustainably is great for the mind, body and soul. Details: Malindi will be hosting a Cooking with Plants educational course in the near future.
For details go to her Facebook page: Saltfreesaffa
Malindi’s 15-minute Creamy Cashew Pesto Pasta
3 servings of pasta (I use whole wheat or substitute with 2 or 3 courgettes, spiralled)
100g cashew nuts for the pesto and 50g cashews to sprinkle
1 ripe avocado
1 lemon, squeezed
25g fresh basil (roughly 1 large handful)
10g Baby spinach (roughly half a handful)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of water
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (this is optional, leave it out if you don’t have any but most health stores now stock this product and it’s a great alternative to cheese).
1 clove of garlic
Place the cashews into a processor and pulse five or six times or until broken down into smaller pieces. Toast the cashews in a pan until golden. Remove and set aside. Place all the remaining pesto ingredients into a processor and throw in 100g of cashews (leaving a smaller amount to sprinkle and garnish the dish). When the sauce is smooth and creamy, spoon onto the pasta and give it a good toss. Sprinkle with remaining cashews and serve.
Tip: Amp it up with some fresh chili!