Recycling, solar panels and electric cars each play an important role in reducing our carbon footprint. While no effort is too small, it turns out eating more greens is one of the best ways to go green. Studies show that more than 60 percent of the world’s biodiversity loss is from meat consumption. Farm animals generate loads of greenhouse gases, toxic manure and wastewater that pollutes groundwater, rivers, streams and, ultimately, the ocean. Factor in the pesticides and chemical fertilizers used to grow the crops to feed these animals and fuel to transport them, and it’s not difficult to see that our planet has a beef with meat. In fact, research suggests if Americans gave up meat just one day a week, it would be equivalent to taking over 7 million cars off the road.
The good news is, giving up meat cold turkey isn’t as daunting as it might seem. Several area restaurants and shops offer delicious vegetarian and vegan options, sure to please even the pickiest palate. Here are a few of our favorites:
1.GANESH INDIAN CUISINE
An authentic Indian restaurant with a number of flavorful meatless and vegan options. Many of their signature dishes can also be modified at the diners’ request.
This New York style pizzeria offers a variety of vegan pizzas and meat substitutes cleverly disguised in savory sauces.
3.FAIRWEATHER NATURAL FOODS
Part health food store, part healthy café, you’ll find groceries, produce, health products and a deli with fresh vegan soups, sandwiches and pastries here.
With a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, Good Karma serves up several vegan and vegetarian entrée options. In fact, half of the menu is dedicated vegan items, including kebabs and curries.
For a meatless menu at home, try experimenting with new vegetables and spices. Tofu, soy, nuts, tempeh, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa, black beans, green peas and lentils are all plant-based foods that are loaded with protein; meaning they are good for both your health and the health of the planet.