UU Plant-Based Eating Club
Quick links to webpage sections:
Welcome to the website page of the UU Plant-Based Eating Club! While we are housed at FUUSN, we welcome anyone who is UU or aligned with UU values as reflected in the seven principles and who desires to learn about and eat nutritious and delicious plant-based, whole food meals.
Enjoy a plant-based, whole foods meal with us at an upcoming Potluck Dinner! Attend one of our upcoming events! See Upcoming Events section for more information.
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to join our e-mail list, get more information, and/or sign up for an event.
Please join us for one or more of these upcoming events sponsored by our group:
Potluck Dinner – late summer and fall dates TBD soon – 6 to 8 pm EST
- Requirements: attendees must be vaccinated and boosted for COVID.
- Plan to bring a plant-based, whole foods dish to share (no animal products/ingredients including eggs, cheese, dairy).
- Home gatherings typically include small groups of up to 12 attendees.
Movie Night Saturday May 21, 7 to 8:30 p.m. via ZOOM; discuss Cowspiracy
Discussion of the movie Cowspiracy. Please watch Cowspiracy before the discussion, available via Netflix and at Cowspiracy.com.
- To attend, register for the Zoom link at no charge. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqcemsrDgpHNT48IlIolSqN1dvkXUQrvsH
Cowspiracy is a 91-minute documentary about the relationship between animal agriculture and climate change. Told through the lens of an idealistic young man who is trying to figure out why mainstream environmental organizations are so reluctant to address the environmental impact of animal agriculture, the movie is informative, engaging, and at times funny.
If you are fully vaccinated against Covid and would like to watch the film with another group member, in advance of the Zoom discussion, please email us at UU-Plant-Basedemail@example.com.
More context for the movie: Today it is widely accepted that livestock accounts for at least 14.5 – 18 % of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions; about as much as the transportation sector (all the cars, trucks, ships, and airplanes in the world). When Cowspiracy was released in 2014, it cited both the 18% figure and a 51% figure from a different study. Although the 51% figure is now considered outdated, the film’s basic overview of animal agriculture’s contribution to water pollution, rainforest deforestation, animal cruelty, water use, and other issues is sound. Building on data from a variety of sources, the film conveys powerful messages regarding what individual consumers can do to combat climate change. In that spirit, we will discuss strategies for increasing the proportion of plant-based foods in one’s diet, including sharing recipes and ideas for ingredient substitutions. We will allot generous time for answering questions.
South Shore Restaurant Outing – Saturday June 4th, 11:45 am
- Lauren McGrath has graciously arranged for us to spend the afternoon on the South Shore, starting with lunch at Garden Patch by the Sea, a new vegan restaurant specializing in vegan seafood on Wollaston Beach in Quincy. Some of you saw the positive review in the Boston Globe. Now is your chance to try it!
- Optional hike afterwards. Carpooling is encouraged.
- For details and RSVP, go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0c44a5a72ca4f85-south.
Summer potluck picnic (5 p.m.) and walk (3:30 pm) – Sat July 9 – SAVE THE DATE!
- Home of Brenda and Andy in Weston. RSVP to Club’s e-mail list. The hosts will be in touch to coordinate logistics and menus
- More details to follow.
Who We Are
- We are a group of congregants and friends who desire to learn about and eat more nutritious and delicious meals together using plant-based whole foods.
- Members are primarily interested in learning how to prepare truly delicious, plant-based, healthy meals and sharing the joys of eating with others from our local UU community. We are all exploring the powerful ways food can sustain and improve the health and vitality of people and the planet.
- You are welcome to join us no matter what your dietary practices are, as long as you are interested in supporting other group members in their pursuit of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle and are considering it for yourself whether in whole or in part. Any food items brought to our community dinners should comply with the principles set forth below (e.g., no animal products of any kind and ideally limiting the use of highly refined ingredients).
What We Do
- Potlucks – We gather approximately every six weeks for a plant-based meal, each bringing a dish to share with the group (including the recipe so others can recreate it later). We are following prevailing COVID19 safety protocols when gathering together or when necessary, are meeting via Zoom.
- Educate – We present and discuss information about healthy plant-based eating during our regular potlucks and periodic events such as film night, community read, farm tours, and forums. We also periodically provide vegan options at UU congregation events.
- Explore and connect – We explore and connect with the broader plant-based eating community through meals at vegan restaurants, attendance at local food conferences, and links to organizations/blogs focused on vegan eating.
- Socialize – We provide a supportive small group community for like-minded eaters to get to know each other and share their passion for whole food, plant-based eating.
What We Eat and Why
Whole food, plant-based (vegan) eating:
- Plants, no animal products – We strive to eat only plants in their whole form or with minimal processing. Plant-based or vegan eating eschews eating all animal products including meat, dairy, and eggs.
- Whole food, minimally processed – Plant-based eating is often referred to as a vegan diet although a vegan diet can also include highly refined plant products such as soy protein isolate, white flour, sugar, and vegetable oils. Potato chips and soda are vegan but certainly not healthy. Our choices are guided by the growing body of peer-reviewed, scientific evidence of the ways in which whole plants promote good personal and planet health while animal products and highly refined plant foods detract from it.
Healthy vegan food includes:
|* Leafy green vegetables||* Whole grains|
|* Other vegetables||* Fruits|
|* Legumes/beans||* Mushrooms|
|* Nuts and seeds||* Herbs and spices|
This does not include:
|* Meat||* Fish|
|* Dairy||* Eggs|
|* Other animal-based products (honey, gelatin, etc.)|
Many members of our group strive to limit the use of highly refined plant foods such as:
|* Flours (especially white flour)|
|* Oils (yes, even extra virgin olive oil)|
|* Highly processed foods, including meat substitutes such as Beyond, Impossible,etc|
Alcohol: Some members also enjoy wine or beer during our community meals.
Why We Eat This Way
- Multiple reasons – Each member of our group is pursuing a whole food, plant-based lifestyle in accordance with that person’s values, which may or may not be the same.
- Compassion for animals – Some members are guided by compassion for animals and have a deep ethical commitment to reduce animal suffering. We respect and admire such strong ethics and are happy that our plant-based eating habits reduce animal suffering, but this is not a primary driver for everyone in our group.
- Environmental sustainability – Many of our members recognize the tremendous burden livestock farming places on soil and water resources, as well as the significant contribution livestock makes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The science is clear; plant-based eating promotes planetary health.
- Personal health – In general, the members of our group are very interested in the positive health impacts of a whole foods, plant-based diet. The science is clear; plant-based eating promotes personal health.
- UU Principles – In general, our dietary choices are guided by our shared Unitarian Universalist values, and particularly the seventh principle of respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. These choices are also consistent with the 2011 UU Statement of Conscience on Ethical Eating: Food and Environmental Justice.
- There is considerable diversity among members as to where we are in our individual plant-based eating journeys. Some of us have been at this for several years and are quite knowledgeable regarding the nutritional science and meal preparation. Others are “dipping a toe in the water” to explore new tastes and ideas, and hoping to cut through the confusing nutritional messages promoted by food corporations and reported in popular media. We do not mean to be purists nor police each other’s eating habits. We simply try to select food that is both delicious and nutritious based on the best available evidence, and enjoy it with each other.
- As noted above, you are welcome to join us no matter where you are on your journey – even if you are just at the first step of considering whether this is for you – as long as you are interested in supporting others on their journey towards a whole food, plant-based lifestyle and are considering it for yourself whether in whole or in part.
Click Photos for pictures of UU Plant-Based Eating Club events and food!
Recipes and Restaurants
COOKBOOKS– Click below for links to reviews of a few of our favorite cookbooks for delicious plant-based meals!
|* How Not to Die|
|* Cookbooks for beginners|
|* Vegetable Kingdom|
|* China Study Family Cookbook|
|* Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes|
RECIPES – Click below for links to some delicious plant-based recipes!
|* Forks Over Knives|
|* Center for Nutrition Studies|
|* Simple Veganista|
|* Bad Manners|
|* Eat Some Plants|
|* Whole Foods Market|
|* Vegan Huggs|
RESTAURANTS – Click below for links to some of our favorite local and regional restaurants that serve whole-food, plant-based menu options!
|* The Walnut Grille in Newton|
|* The Red Lentil in Watertown & Sharon|
|* Eater Boston, list of popular restaurants|
|* Nussili118 in Cambridge, take home food|
|* Plant City in Providence|
|* Double Zero in Boston|
|* PlantPub in Boston|
|* Like No Udder , vegan ice cream, Providence|
|* Pizzeria Enzina in Waltham|
Movies & Videos
|1 Forks Over Knives – Follows a few chronically ill people as they learn how to eat a plant based diet.|
|2 Vegucated – Focuses on an amusing journey into the lives of three everyday meat lovers.|
|3 The Game Changers – Interviews with pro athletes about vegan diet and results.|
|4 Fast Food Nation – Looks at history of fast food and its impact on health and culture.|
|5 Food, Inc – Investigation into corporate food production, distribution, and consumption.|
|6 A Life on Our Planet – David Attenborough’s reflections on devastating environmental changes and how to address them.|
|7 Seaspiracy – Looks at environmental impact of fishing; advocates for ending fish consumption.|
|8 Cowspiracy – Looks at link between meat industry and ecological disaster including carbon emissions, water shortages, deforestation, and climate change.|
|9 Live and Let Live – Follows stories and experiences of former meat industry workers and their transition to plant based diets.|
|10 Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home – Explores farmers’ crisis of conscience about their way of life and animal exploitation.|
|11 PlantPure Nation – Story of three people spreading message of plant-based eating.|
1 How Not to Die by Michael Greger M.D. & Gene Stone – Dr. Gregor pleads his case for a plant-based diet as the way to prevent and reverse numerous diseases through well-cited research.
2 The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan – Follows four meals from the origins of the ingredients to a dinner plate, revealing how food is made and intertwined with our culture, environment, politics, and economy.
3 In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan – Pollan answers the question of what we should eat with seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
4 Food Matters by Mark Bittman – Shows how simple dietary tweaks can help you lose weight, slow global warming, reduce environmental degradation, help stop cruelty to farm animals, AND save money.
5 Food Rules by Michael Pollan – This handbook lays out a set of rules for eating wisely, one per page with concise explanation.
6 Diet for a Hot Planet by Anna Blythe Lappe – Offers a vision of a planet-healing food system based on seven principles for a climate-friendly diet and success stories from sustainable food advocates around the globe.
Vegan Starter Kits
|Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry Empowers individuals and congregations to build justice and compassion for animals.|
|Interfaith Vegan Coalition Provides animal liberation materials, resources, and support to activists and spiritual and religious communities.|
|Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Dedicated to saving and improving human and animal lives through plant-based diets and ethical and effective scientific research.|
|Boston Vegetarian Society Provides education, community, and outreach to encourage healthy plant-based eating for the benefit of animals, the environment, the climate, and public and personal health.|
|Unity Farm Sanctuary Farm in Sherborn dedicated to the lifetime and loving care of a limited population of ill, disabled, senior, orphaned or surrendered farm animals.|