Originally Published: January 1, 2015 6 a.m.
It's time for New Year's resolutions, particularly those about our health. Although gun violence remains the leading cause of death among young people, our most dangerous weapon is still our fork. Forty-five times as many die of chronic diseases linked to a diet containing animal products, sugar and salt.
Hardly a month goes by without another study linking consumption of animal products with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. No reputable study has ever shown an opposite result.
But times are changing. Hundreds of schools, colleges, hospitals and corporate cafeterias, have embraced Meatless Monday. According to a Gallup poll, 22 percent of American consumers are avoiding meat and 12 percent are avoiding dairy products. Harris Interactive claims that 47 percent of American consumers are reducing consumption of animal products.
Accordingly, plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy products are growing explosively, propelled by investments from Microsoft, Paypal, and Twitter founders. Fast-food chains like Chipotle, Subway and Taco Bell are rolling out vegan options.
Let this New Year's resolution be about exploring the rich variety of plant-based entrees, lunch meats, cheeses, ice creams, and milks in our supermarket. The internet offers tons of recipes and transition tips.