Updated: Oct 1, 2018
By Niklas Untch of the CEMS Club Rotterdam Sustainability Committee
“Veganism is bad”
“Veganism is the sad result of a morally corrupt mind”
“Veganism is magic”
“Veganism isn’t cruelty free.”
The four most popular complements that Google suggests when you type “Veganism is...” show how polarizing this topic is. Even when moving away from the extreme positions, some of the frequent concerns that you hear about vegan food, are:
It is complicated
It does not fill you properly
It reduces your possibilities to lettuce, rice and potatoes
It is not fun at all
Although I prefer to avoid over-simplifications such as the “fun” argument, I also doubted the “efficiency” of the food in filling me for a long time. In fact, I believe that this is one of the central arguments against vegan food of our male population….. :) Yet, even the number of male vegans is rising.
Therefore, a few months ago, I decided to give it a trial and replace my “normal” food with vegan options regularly.
Here is a recent example: a lentil curry, created out of the very few following ingredients
2 bell peppers
5 small carrots
1 sweet potato
350 grams of red lentils
2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and Black pepper
Vegetable stock for ≈300ml of water
Preparation is super simple:
Roast the onions in a pan
Step by step, add the vegetables in the following order: carrots, bell peppers, zucchini
Add the tomato paste
Add the lentils
Add some water together with the vegetable stock and let it cook for about 25 minutes
Cook the sweet potatoes in a separate bowl
Spice it up with salt, black pepper and curry in the end and…...
.....there you go:
It took me roughly an hour from the start until enjoying the final meal.
You might have read about the benefits of vegetarian diets in one of the previous blog entries. Of course, the same advantages hold for this vegan option: It is healthy, environmentally responsible, and super cheap. Indeed, after running my calculations, I arrive at an end price per portion of just €1.59.
So, what is the “big thing”about this super basic vegan dish? The answer is nothing. In fact, to get back to the concerns listed above:
It is easy-peasy
It fills you properly and for a decent amount of time
It offers a lot of possibilities for variation with ingredients
It is definitely not less fun than non-vegan meals
The internet offers a full range of inspirations on how to prepare vegan meals.
I would like to emphasize that I am not fully vegan. Instead of making it an “all-or-nothing” decision, I view it as a nice complement to balance my (mostly) vegetarian and (partly) meat-based nutrition. After all, I think that there is nothing bad about being environmental- and health-conscious. Consider the fact that the world hunger problem could be solved if people turned to a less meat-centric diet.
By the way, if you prefer more “advanced” vegan dishes or simply lack the time to prepare them yourself, Rotterdam has a full range of great vegetarian/vegan restaurants. With the new Good Citizen Card, you even receive attractive discounts. Check out the Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.
The CEMS Club Rotterdam Sustainability Committee