AT Food: Veganism is gaining momentum but more knowledge is needed

Food services on campus runs meatless Mondays and offers other plant-forward meal options. But some people remain unsure
Photo: Brahim Ait Ouzineb
“People hear the word vegan in there, and they cringe,” said Jordan Pett, the owner of Keepin’ It Vegan Bakery. “They picture some gross, spongy tofu.”

Vegan food is gaining fans as more people are environment-conscious.

With the recent climate change alerts and the inflation hikes, vegan food is a valid alternative. In Canada, more than 40 per cent of the population is actively trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diets, according to a study by the National Research Centre.

According to Emma Kaye, the Algonquin College registered dietitian, plant-forward eating does appear to be gaining traction.

The food services at Algonquin College offer a variety of vegan food.

“Although interest is increasing, these items do not appear to be more consumed compared to the other options available,” said Kaye.

Although the food services at Algonquin College did not share numbers with The Algonquin Times, the different eateries at the Woodroffe campus offer halal, vegan and vegetarian food to appeal more to the consumers. They promote options available through blog posts and the food services section on the website.

Food services often run meatless Monday campaigns, according to Kaye. In addition to regular dishes, they run features and have other plant-forward options available when customers identify themselves to the staff member at the station.

“Most of the people I meet nowadays go for veggies because of the kind of mindset they have on meat,” said Alex Osei, a human resources management student. “Most people have become conscious of the impact of eating meat on the environment.”

Continuing to consume meat will eventually harm the environment as some specialists observe.

In the Netflix docuseries You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment, Pat Brown, the founder of Impossible Foods, talks about the 1.7 billion cows on Earth right now that are being raised for food.

Marion Nestle, a New York University professor, explains in the documentary that cattle have this unfortunate rumen system, which causes them to burp methane, a greenhouse gas that is much worse than carbon dioxide. According to an MIT study, methane is about 200 times less abundant in the atmosphere and lasts there for only about a decade on average—while carbon dioxide can last for centuries.

This plays in favour of vegan culture, yet the documentary argues that big meat companies and regulators prefer to ignore it.

Chef Joe Thottungal, a mentor for the culinary arts program of Algonquin College, serves 35 per cent vegan dishes in his two restaurants.

According to a spokesperson for the Vegan Society of Canada, there is still a lot of discrimination against vegan culture. The Canadian government, for VSC, would never dictate to other creeds the meaning of Kosher and Halal foods yet it does this for vegans.

The updated numbers on veganism are hard to find. The Vegan Society of Canada does not have the resources to do any studies. The National Research Centre issued an analysis in 2019 on the opportunity for Canada to be a world leader in the vegan market.

Vegan culture suffers a lot of stigmas. Most customers visit the stores out of curiosity and store owners dwell more on education.

“People hear the word vegan in there, and they cringe,” said Jordan Pett, the owner of Keepin’ It Vegan Bakery in Craig Henry, a neighbourhood west of the Woodroffe campus. “They picture some gross, spongy tofu.”

The lack of knowledge among people about various dietary preferences is the cause of such stigma, according to Pranav Kundra, a brand management graduate.

“More conversation is needed among people to normalize vegan diets,” said Kundra. “There are eight billion humans on Earth. It is important to understand and respect that we all can be a little different than one another in some ways.”

Algonquin Times podcast
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times podcast
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes

Sections

Algonquin Times podcast
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times podcast
Follow Algonquin Times on Instagram
Algonquin Times horoscopes
Algonquin Times on Instagram

Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter

You have been subscribed. Thank you!