Ghanaians encouraged to embrace vegan diet

BY MICHAEL OBERTEYE - Nov 09, 2019 at 11:01am 100

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Mahorgany Health Foods, a vegan Cafe in Accra, on Friday, November 1, 2019 as part of celebrations of World Vegan Day, organised its very first ever full vegan seminar, encouraging Ghanaians to ditch meat for a full plant based diet!

World Vegan Day is an annual event celebrated by vegans around the world every 1st November to celebrate the Health benefits of veganism for us, humans and for our environment.

According to Researchers and as explained during the Seminar, eating lots of processed and red meat can increase the risk of diseases such as arthritis and cancer, reiterating the idea to try and cut it down if you’re eating lots of it.

Marketing Manager for Mahorgany Health Foods, Muriel Tekou said the purpose of the event, aside celebrating the vegan lifestyle, was to educate more people on veganism and encourage them to start paying attention to the nutritional value of what they eat as well as inspire them to make the best and healthiest choices by eating organic food which supports our environment and contributes to the fight against climate change.

The event saw impressive and insightful presentations from two sets of panelists.

The First set of Panelists included Experts such as CEO of LifeWholeness Wholistic Center and President of the Vegetarians Association of Ghana, Kolawole Braimah, Jahi Kenya Who is CEO Of Emperor Ital Joint, CEO Of The Wellness Communiversity, Dr Carnita Groves and Kristine Twum, CEO Of Cedarlane Health Foods and Vice President Of the Vegetarian Association Of Ghana.

They tackled pertinent issues of interest to veganism including the Health benefits of adopting a plant based diet, debunking popular vegan myths such as the fact that "it's tasteless or expensive“, the spiritual and psychological effects of what we eat on our body, and how to easily transition from meat diet to plant-based diet.

The second set of panelists included Dr. Kwashie Darkudzi, Chairman Of Darshield Village Farms, Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson of the Church of Climate Change, Lauren Goodwin, owner of Lavender Ghana, and Prince Yadiel, an expert in Organic Agriculture.

They spoke on climate change, the damages observed in Accra and what can be done to fight it and protect the environment.

The panelists in explaining organic farming, said it's important to teach kids how to grow our own food without chemicals, the benefits of eating organic foods and the need for adults to consume natural foods.

Kolawole Braimah who said he lost 44kg since he became Vegan, urged Ghanaians to change their mindset regarding their eating habits.
He expressed worry over the apparent disregard for fruits, adding that people who lived the longest were mostly vegetarians.

“Evidence shows that people who lived on plant-based diet lived the longest, the evidence is there,” said Mr. Kolawole.

He described the consumption of meat as unhealthy dieting, arguing that meat consumption creates mucus and an inflammation in the digestive system.
He challenged people to adopt plant-based diet and stay away from meat for a relatively short time in order to appreciate the benefits of the former and the need to be vegan on the long term.

Chairman of Darshield Village Farms, Dr. Kwashie Darkudzi who decried the spate of wanton destruction of the environment through activities such as driving fossil fuel vehicles, illegal mining, deforestation, etc. which trigger climate change and the effects on the environment asserted that the activities of meat consumers contributed two or three times more to climate change than those on plant-based diet.

He condemned the prescription of weeding as punishment by some teachers to errant students, adding that the situation must be changed.

“Teachers who punish errant pupils using our technology, our farming, our practice, our career by giving them cutlass and hoe to go weed in the hot sun are not doing us any good,” he said. “The signal they are sending to the kids is that farming is not profitable but rather meant for punishment.”
Dr. Darkudzi called for massive education for kids in food growing, adding that children should be taught the benefits of plant-based diet.

He charged the district assemblies to ensure that monies meant for afforestation and environmental management are disbursed to farmers, arguing that farmers are the suitable individuals to engage in such activities.

He called on government to engage more farmers and individuals to and ensure that more trees are planted to improve on environmental management.

Mahorgany Health Foods is championing the campaign alongside other vegan advocates to encourage people to “Take the Veg Pledge” and go vegan or vegetarian, through what they call, “baby steps,” which could also benefit the health of participants, according to Muriel Tekou.

In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified red meat — including beef, pork, lamb, and veal — as a Group 2 carcinogen, meaning it probably causes cancer in humans. WHO classed processed meat — like bacon, ham, hot dogs, sausages, and beef jerky — in the known carcinogen Group 1 category, that’s the same category as tobacco and asbestos.

According to vegans, transitioning to veganism or plant-based diet can also help people save money, learn new recipes, become more ecofriendly, and raise funds for “life-saving research.”