Posts Tagged ‘ eating ’

The Peculiar Public Demand For Non-GMO, Plant-Based Restaurants

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I get it that “plant-based families” like us live a much different lifestyle than mainstream America, but I know we can still have fun and “be normal.”

And hopefully, these letters I write to you each day demonstrate that.

Granted, we don’t really go to restaurants, and I suppose that’s not normal.

One of the main reasons is we’re too cheap; which I plan to write more about later…

But the biggest reason we don’t go out to eat is because we can’t/don’t trust what’s in the food at most places.

It’s one thing to avoid all animal products (including butter, cheese, eggs, lard, etc.) but for our family, it’s more than that.

We care about avoiding foods with GMOs. We don’t trust foods that have been compromised by Monsanto because we believe they are a science experiment on the human body.

In 2013, one million Americans idenitified themselves as vegan (that’s 2.5% of the population), while another 7.3 million identified as vegetarians. That’s a lot of people, actually.

Well, I would have to assume we’re not the only plant-based Americans who hardly ever visit restaurants anymore…

Mainstream American restaurants like Red Lobster and Abblebee’s have lost us as customers as we’ve began watching documentaries like Forks Over Knives, which clearly spell out the connection between getting cancer and the consumption of animal products; as well as what to eat instead, to still get the nutrition we need- perhaps even getting much more than we were getting before!

So if we’re not spending our money at places like those anymore, where are we spending it instead?

Well, as for our family, at least… we’re not.

In other words, I see a largely untapped market: Non-GMO, plant-based, organic restaurants.

I think there’s a lot of money not being made off of people like us.

But that can be tricky for businesses trying to legitimately invite us in.

I know I wouldn’t take a restaurant seriously if they served soda, which is full of GMOs, chemicals, artificial colors and processed sugar; all of which are ingredients I run from. (Diet soda contains even more chemicals I don’t trust.)

It would sort of be an insult if the place was trying to present itself as not simply just “vegan friendly,” but a Non-GMO, plant-based, organic restaurant.

Perhaps my motto, as a vegan, is a quote from Hippocrates:

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

What that means is that if a businessman was clever enough to start a franchise of restaurants that only sold food that was non-GMO, plant-based, organic, and free of artificial flavors, and colors… and avoided oils and gluten… and didn’t use microwaves

Then I think that businessman could make money off of people like us.

I say that because that’s exactly what happened this past weekend. Mommy found a Groupon for a place called Greens Cafe at Symmetry, here in Nashville.

We loved it so much that we ended up completely missing the Vanderbilt scrimmage game we were so excited about. We showed up as everyone was leaving. Oops.

But it was really nice for the three of us just to hang out at a café for brunch on a Saturday morning and not have to worry about anything; mainly the food, but for me, I was happy that I had no dishes to clean up.

(I may talk about this too much to you in these letters, but I do a lot of dishes. Living the plant-base life means extra dishes, like the food-processor, for example.)

I do predict within the next decade, more places like this vegan café will be springing up; especially in the mainstream franchises.

Did you know I am a prophet?

Not really. I just know there’s money not being made out there and there’s men with slicked-back hair, wearing nice suits, who are eager to start making that money off of families like us.

And I wouldn’t be insulted if they tried.





Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.

Add a Comment

Why Our Family Is Giving Up The Vegetarian Lifestyle

Monday, April 1st, 2013

2 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

I figure today is just as good as any for us to make a major change in our lives. Tonight, you will dine on meat for the first time!

As for Mommy and me, this will be the first time we’ve had a non-vegetarian meal in nearly a year and a half. In the least, this breaks my personal nearly-monthly long vegan lifestyle.

Not only have your parents kept you from meat, but we’ve also deprived you of soda, fruit juice, most candy, artificial colors, and fast food.

But that’s not fair to you and I realize that now.

What a hypocrite I am to say you can’t have the same foods I had growing up. The fact that some of your favorite toys are the Stomper monster trucks I got from McDonald’s Happy Meals from 1985 really started making me think.

To say that you can never know the joy and splendor of opening a hot steamy bag or box containing not only great tasting food, but also a cool toy, that’s just really not fair.

So today when I pick you up from daycare, I’m taking you straight to the drive-thru and buying you a chicken nugget kids meal.

I just sort of feel embarrassed by this whole hippy stage in my life. (I even endorsed Ron Paul in the 2012 Presidential election! Can we say overboard?)

Looking back, I made way too big of a deal about the pink slime controversy last year. I need to just stop asking where our food comes from and let you be normal.

You’re a kid, for goodness sake! Be a kid!

I realize that a recent University of Oxford study shows that vegetarians live longer, have a lower risk for heart disease, are less likely to develop diabetes, and have a lower height-weight ratio than meat eaters.

Okay, so maybe our family would live longer… but would we have as much fun?

Time to find out!





Add a Comment

My Son Stuffs His Face (And His Shorts) Full Of Food

Monday, May 7th, 2012

17 months.

This picture right here is currently one of my favorites of Jack: He’s got a mouth overstuffed with wheat bread.

Sure, it’s not a very flattering picture of him; but it is hilarious because it totally sums up his current eating habits.

Like most toddlers, I assume, Jack has a fairly limited palette. When he’s wolfing down one of the few selections of food he will eat, he doesn’t understand the concept of pacing himself.

He can have a handful and a mouthful of spaghetti with a full plate in front of him and he still manages to mumble, “More?”

Sometimes in the morning after my wife feeds him his typical breakfast consisting of a whole wheat blueberry waffle or two, he will point to the box of Cheerios.

Recently she gave him a small cup of them for the car ride with me to his daycare. He was pretty quiet the whole 30 minute trip there.

Once we arrived, I opened up the hatchback-style door on my Honda Element and began unstrapping him from his car seat. I noticed the cup of Cheerios was empty.

As I lifted him up, Cheerios poured out of his shorts like quarters in a lucky Las Vegas slot machine.

Jack began laughing like a sneaky little squirrel. He totally pranked me.

I take it he wasn’t actually still hungry that morning.

Add a Comment