Home Columns BBQ with better food choices

With barbeque season under way, you may find yourself wondering what to throw on the grill for friends and family when so many are choosing to support better health and sustainability through better food choices.

For example, more and more people are choosing plant-based meal options, whether it’s for health reasons, for environmental reasons or for farm animal welfare. Our grocery stores’ meat-free options are continuously expanding, schools are adopting Meatless Monday programs and even fast food chains like Wendy’s and Subway are jumping on board with delicious meatless sandwiches.

From professional culinary experts to variety-seeking parents, polls show that people are putting the meat on our plates in the back seat to make room for more plant-based goodness. With good reason – beans and vegetables are rich in important nutrients such as protein and fiber, but don’t contain saturated fat and cholesterol.

Meat eaters and vegetarians now enjoy plant-based burgers and hotdogs that can be found at just about any grocery store. Some brands that you can try are Gardein’s Ultimate Beefless Burger and the Beast Burger by Beyond Meat – both are packed with plant-based protein and are ready to go on the grill right next to the veggie kebabs. Field Roast’s Frankfurters, which are made right here in Washington, and Tofurky sausages are great on the grill and you can also enjoy them at several ballparks around the country.

Even taking small steps to eat and serve more sustainable foods and less meat can make a big difference. Try following the Three R’s of eating: “reducing” or “replacing” consumption of animal products, and “refining” our diets by choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards.

You can also find dozens of delicious, easy recipes at humanesociety.org/recipes. Start by trying your hand at traditional American dishes like Portobello Sloppy Joes, Creamy Potato Salad and Blueberry Hand Pies and let your palate guide you from there.

Whether you’re a plant-based foodie or just need a little help to accommodate your friends and family at your next summer celebration – sustainable, healthy options are easier than ever to find!

About Amy Webster

Amy Webster is the Seattle-based food policy coordinator for The Humane Society of the United States.

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