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Plant-Based Club advocates for plant-based diets
Club presidents give out free cookbooks, totes, and more to promote vegan eating
April 20, 2023
Seniors Gabriela Hakeman and Morgan Greenlaw, co-presidents of the Plant-Based Club, and club member Margot Blanco raised awareness about plant-based food with a Day of Action on the Palo Alto High School quad on Wednesday.
Students who correctly answered trivia questions about the environmental impacts of producing food were awarded with their choice of burlap tote bags, vegan cookbooks and stickers.
“The goal of this is just to get people excited about plant-based eating,” Greenlaw said.
Both co-presidents are vegan, and Hakeman said that she also tries to reduce her environmental impact by educating others.
“I try to eat foods that have a lower environmental footprint, so I try to eat locally and I also try and help my family to reduce their meat consumption,” she said. I try to eat foods that have a lower environmental footprint, so I try to eat locally and I also try and help my family to reduce their meat consumption.” — Gabriela Hakeman“
I try to eat foods that have a lower environmental footprint, so I try to eat locally and I also try and help my family to reduce their meat consumption.”
— Gabriela Hakeman
The club was able to procure their prizes from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit that advocates for plant-based diets.
“They’re doing a campaign to basically get more people interested in plant-based eating,” Greenlaw said. “So we’re giving out free cookbooks, and vegan starter kits.”
Junior Sophia Lee picked up a free reusable bag after answering her trivia questions correctly and learning more about the environmental impacts of food choices.
“I learned that going on a vegan diet can allow you to decrease your carbon footprint by 72%,” Lee said. “I actually didn’t know that and I realized that mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D.”
Plant-Based Club is also trying to make going vegan easier for Paly students by engaging in a variety of concurrent initiatives.
“We try to make it more exciting and more accessible for students to try plant-based eating by encouraging the cafeteria to provide options and also holding events like these to increase education and encourage students to just try it, at least, even if it’s just for one time,” Hakeman said.
Still, Hakeman said she is aware a plant-based diet may be difficult for many students to fully adopt, so she is supportive of a more incremental approach to becoming vegan that would increase access to all students.
“I also recognize that for a lot of students that [a plant-based diet] isn’t necessarily something they want to do so I’m a strong believer in people reducing the amount of meat and dairy they are eating,” Hakeman said. “Even if that’s just one day per week or maybe not eating animal products for breakfast, little things like that can amount to large change if enough people do it.”
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