Wellness Wednesday: Eat Plants for Planetary & Personal Health

Veg tacos

We’re inviting some of our trusted nonprofit and Star Chef partners to take over the Bon Appétit blog and share their best tips, recipes, and fun links. This week’s guest curators are Jennifer DiFrancesco and Josephine Morris from the Humane Society of the United States, with which Bon Appétit has been proud to work with since 2005

It’s a great time to consider relying more heavily on plants to feed our families. As a mom with two kids and an omnivorous husband, I have found the grocery store to be a disorienting place lately. Traditional staples are available one day and gone the next, while many items are unavailable for weeks at a time. To make feeding our families even more challenging, there is expected to be a shortage of meat on store shelves in the next few weeks, as processing plants have closed due to COVID-19 illness amongst their employees. But I have found produce, fruit, and plant-based proteins like legumes to be consistently available.

Learning how to master simple, craveable dishes made from plants will surely elevate you to hero status in your family. Have you thought about making stuffed pasta shells with lentil crumbles? Or swapping chicken on Taco Tuesday for quinoa and red or white beans for a hearty filling? You can use chickpeas to make crispy sliders and save the liquid to whip up a mayo topping (check out Monday’s Let’s Cook). Even breakfast can be a winner with fluffy tofu; when pressed and seasoned well, it tastes better than scrambled eggs!

Plants provide delicious, protein-packed and healthy foundations to any meal … better yet, they are steadily available even during these challenging times. Shifting away from conventional animal products toward more plant-based ingredients is good for your health and the planet’s, while also helping spare animals from factory farms.

Did you know?

Do a little or do a lot. Every meal helps make a difference. It motivates me to know that I’m doing good while eating well and at the same time helping shape the future of food. A future where the most beautiful and delicious food is also the food that heals our bodies, promotes the health of our planet, and helps animals rather than causing them harm. And it starts today, one meal at a time.

Josephine Morris is a food policy manager for The Humane Society of the United States. She works with several of the top 50 food service companies and over 70 of the nation’s largest restaurant chains, consumer packaged-goods businesses, and hospitality services to improve their animal welfare standards and to diversity their proteins.