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Local Limelight: Weeklyish Articles Of Interest

Small Changes Start With A Large Salad
By Jonathan Davis


Do not go on a plant-based diet in isolation!  There is help and there is support.  Of course there is, this is Portland!  Add it to the long list of why PDX is the gem of the West Coast.  Living on a plant based diet has become easier with the presence of Northwest VEG, a non-profit organization that is devoted to raising awareness of the many benefits of living on a plant-based diet.  

Barrett McInnis, a Northwest VEG board member and volunteer explained that their non-profit and website is meant, “to build community and connect people of a similar mindset.  It is a conduit for people to post their veg friendly activities and events,” said Barrett.  “The website is a resource to educate the benefits of a veg based diet.”

Northwest VEG’s outreach efforts focus on three areas:
1.    Compassion and safety.  Learning of the conditions of how animals are raised and slaughtered.
2.    Environmental impact.  Explaining slaughterhouses and the waste produced in slaughterhouses, factory farming, and the dangers of confined feeding operations.
3.    Health reasons. How a plant-based diet is great for your health through talking about food, cooking, and nutrition with health experts, nutritionists, and chefs.

This sounds all good and tasty, but when can I eat?  The nice part about Northwest VEG is that it is about just that, eating!  Northwest VEG conducts many social events based around being on a plant-based diet.  

Potlucks and dine outs at local veg friendly restaurants are conducted monthly.  These socials offer a family friendly environment so “you can talk about being a vegetarian, like the veg food you’re eating and any issues with being a veg.”  

Another tasty type of edible event hosted by Northwest VEG is VegFest.  A compassionate living fair that has speakers, classes, chef demonstrations, workshops, and more.  VegFest is a great way to get together to learn and be with others that enjoy a plant-based diet.  Check in at portlandvegfest.org for information about VegFest ’09, Septermber 19 at the Oregon Convention Center.

What about those who eat the typical American diet of meat, dairy, and grains?  The people that want to start eating healthier and be more conscious about what we ingest, what about those people?  Where’s a good starting point?  Barrett recommends to “consider what you’re putting in your body.  Go to a farmers market and buy more greens, wash, separate and have it ready to go.   Make it easy!  Increasing healthy foods leaves less room for the unhealthy.”

What about those people that the doctor says stop eating Top Ramen and salami everyday because you’re killing yourself, what about those people?  “Jonathan, make small changes that you can do over time and let your path develop ” in which Barrett followed up with, ”so order a large salad today!”  Done and done.

Small changes made over time create habits.  This is a fundamental understanding in living a more sustainable lifestyle.  Start with small changes like eating more greens and let your path develop in your Greenhood.

Members of Northwest VEG receive discounts to a variety of veg friendly restaurants.  To learn more about Northwest VEG or become a member, please visit their website.
 

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