Making a plant-based resolution

To the editor,

The end-of-year/New Year holidays seem to whiplash us from one extreme to the other: eat, drink and be merry vs. the customary New Year’s resolutions: reduce social media, reduce weight and embrace a plant-based diet!

One-third of consumers report reducing their consumption of animal foods. Hundreds of school, college, hospital and corporate cafeterias have embraced Meatless Monday. Even Chipotle, Denny’s, Panera, Subway, Taco Bell and White Castle are rolling out plant-based options.

A dozen start-ups, led by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are creating healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, convenient, delicious plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. Meat industry giants Tyson Foods, Cargill and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods have invested heavily in plant-based meat development. So have a number of Microsoft, Google, Twitter and PayPal pioneers.

According to the Plant-Based Foods Association, plant-based food sales have grown by 20 percent in recent years, 10 times the growth rate of all foods. Sales of plant-based cheeses, creamers, butter, yogurts and ice creams are exploding at a 50 percent growth rate. Plant-based milks now account for 15 percent of the milk market.

The plant-based New Year’s resolution requires no sweat or deprivation – just some fun exploration of your favorite supermarket, restaurants and food websites.

– Diego Horvath, Durango