Parkhurst presents low impact meals

If you have been feeling more up beat and healthy lately, that may be because you have been eating a low impact meal at Parkhurst, that is now being served at lunch and dinner every Thursday in Egan.

Salina Bowe photo: Parkhurst provides fresh food options for students.Salina Bowe photo: Parkhurst provides fresh food options for students.

Low impact meals have tons of great benefits. The meals are 80 percent plant based, and 20 perent meat based, which in turn lessen the ecological demand and impact on our resources. These meals can appeal to everyone from vegetarians, vegans, ovo-lacto vegetarians and the majority of us, carnivores. There will be at least 10 main options for each meal and possibly more. This is not including the salad bar and the three hot soups.

So what’s so special about and 80/20 diet, anyway? Eating meals like the 80/20 plan can help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help avoid the freshman fifteen.

One of the diets Parkhurst will be adding is a Mediterranean diet. This diet includes foods such as artichokes that contain 20 essential vitamins and nutrients and olives, which can stop cancer cells from growing and even prevents premature aging. This kind of diet also includes high amounts of fiber, which help one’s blood pressure.

In addition, hummus, which is rich in protein, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids all can help improve intelligence and maintain a healthy heart.

Not only does this new meal have great benefits health-wise, but also has an even better advantage toward our environment. Amazingly, worldwide only 2 billion people live on meat based diets, where as 4 billion live on plant-based diets. A meat based food system requires more energy, land and water resources than a plant based diet. In fact, 17 percent of the U.S. production system is dependent on fossil energy.

Due to this, our food system, which is primarily meat based, is not sustainable for the future. In having a plant-based diet, there are less transportation costs as well as utility costs, naturally lowering the use of fossil fuels, all while providing a delicious meal.

It was the Mercyhurst Green team who raised the question of having “Meatless Mondays” in the dining hall. Though a daunting task, Parkhurst was up to the challenge. Although Parkhurst did not take on a “Meatless Monday,” they have added, perhaps, an ever better option to appeal to all types of hungry students and faculty.

Low impact meals will be available every Thursday for lunch and dinner.