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Sustainable eating becomes a trend among restaurants

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A vegan pizza offered at Virtuous Pie called "curry mile" consists of butter chickpea curry, mint raita, roasted cashews, mango chutney and pea shoots. Photo: Sean Hitrec
A vegan pizza offered at Virtuous Pie called “curry mile” consists of butter chickpea curry, mint raita, roasted cashews, mango chutney and pea shoots. Photo: Sean Hitrec

Reported by Sean Hitrec

Forget about meat and cheese, Virtuous Pie general manager Thomas Davidson-Park said that his pizzas will show you there is an alternative.

Virtuous Pie, located on Main and Keefer Street, opened up two months ago and regularly sees full tables according to patrons. The philosophy is tasty, low cost, vegan pizzas that everyone can enjoy. The restaurant is part of a growing group of health and sustainability conscious restaurants popping up around town. Due to their success, Virtuous Pie is already opening up another location in Portland Oregon, Davidson-Park said.

It is important not sacrifice quality

For Davidson-Park, the pizzeria is unique because of the quality and price.

“We didn’t want people to sacrifice quality to eat plant-based. We wanted them to have the same experience that they would get in their traditional pizzeria,” Davidson-Park said. “We don’t want people to feel like they have to pay more for a plant-based alternative.”

Joe Knight works nearby and frequents the restaurant and describes himself as an “almost vegetarian” who is “vegan curious.”

“I love it,” Knight said. “It’s made me realize that there are cheese alternatives that are delicious.”

Getting proper nutrition from a vegan diet can be difficult

Grayan Chong, the chair of the health sciences department at Langara, said that a purely vegan diet is difficult to balance.

“You can get 20 amino acids from different vegetables, but some are heavier on certain amino acids than others,” Chong said. “If you eat meat you don’t have to worry about that.”

While restaurants like Virtuous Pie add a healthy alternative to eating meat, Chong said that the best approach is a little bit of balance.

“Take things in moderation, like you don’t have to completely go onto a vegetable diet. If you even move towards 90 per cent of your diet as a vegetarian and even have 10 per cent as meat, that would be fine.”

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