Summer Grilling: The Case for Plant-Based

After years and years working as a food and restaurant publicist, I learned to equate summer with all-things GRILLED. A new summer always had my chef clients pushing the boundaries in search of the most innovative food to prepare on the grill - fruits like lemon and peaches, cheese, even ice cream!

With all the delicious things we can make on our grill - why stick to plain old burgers and hot dogs? When it comes to food, I am an equal opportunist - I’ll try anything once. And while I am neither vegan nor vegetarian, I know the positive environmental impacts of consuming less meat. I usually don’t buy meat to eat at home and only get it when out at restaurants. That said, things changed when I moved home with my father the carnivore.

If you also live with meat-loving roommates, I have some eco-subterfuge tactics to share that may help green up their grills this summer:

  1. Cater to their kitchen creativity - If you live with a gourmand (like my dad), play to their love of cooking and challenge them to try some creative vegan or vegetarian recipes on the grill this summer.

  2. Swap their beef for Beyond Meat Burgers - I am obsessed with these mouthwateringly meat-like burgers that are the perfect swap for traditional beef burgers. In my experience, they tend to sway even the most devoted meat eaters. My sister made these for her boyfriend after going vegan for Lent this year and his mind was BLOWN.

  3. Drop some health knowledge on them - As I am a fan of focusing on the positive, try casually mentioning how meat-free diets have been known to increase energy, improve gut-health and digestion and support a glowing complexion. Vanity can be a major motivator after all.

In the end, the most important thing to me is the environmental impact. According to the Vegetarian Calculator, one month of meat-free eating will save 17 animals and 134 pounds of C02 from entering our atmosphere. Even better? the Vegan Calculator says one month of meat AND dairy-free eating will save 30 animals, 600 pounds of C02 gas from the atmosphere, 900 square feet of forest and 33,000 gallons of water - from just one person!!

Delicious recipes? Check. Health benefits? Check. Environmental impact? Check. I think it’s safe to say a meat-free summer makes for a win-win-win.