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Choosing to live a plant-based lifestyle can often be an intimidating endeavor. However, it is proven that going plant-based has an array of personal and environmental benefits. Although it is a common misconception that being vegetarian or vegan is challenging and expensive, society has grown in the field of offering affordable and tasty plant-based foods. Below, I will discuss some of the personal and environmental benefits this lifestyle would provide, and further explore some personal favorite places to buy plant-based food at home and at Bucknell. 

Personal Benefits

For starters, a plant-based diet improves your immune system. By going plant-based, you are likely to consume countless more vitamins and minerals than you would on a regular basis. Thus, your immune system resets and easily reboots itself to fight off disease and sickness. Furthermore, plant’s natural nutrients are constantly working towards reducing inflammation in your body. Thus, eating more plant-based foods will help your body fight against swelling and inflammation. If you do not already know, plants are a great source of fiber. After going plant-based your gut health improves, allowing you to absorb more nutrients, and help digest your food better. Lastly, providing your plant-based foods are wholesome and not processed, you can reduce acne, and hydrate your skin substantially more than on an animal-based diet. If you have thought about trying out a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and these positive effects are not enough to convince you, below we will discuss some of the environmental impacts of going plant-based too. 

Environmental Benefits

It has come to our attention primarily in the last decade that our gas emissions have resulted in a very negative impact on our environment. The meat packing industry specifically contributes an immense amount of greenhouse gasses and waste of natural resources in our world today. This industry wastes a lot of water and land in the process of making meat for the population. Furthermore, the gasses produced by both factories and animals have injured the state of our atmosphere. By going plant-based, you can reduce your personal carbon footprint because you will not be contributing to the effects the meat industry has on our environment. A global shift to a plant-based diet would reduce our total carbon footprint by 10% and by 2050, almost 70%. These numbers would work towards reversing the detriment we have caused on the planet, before our mistakes become irreversible.  

Best Places For Plant-Based Food at Home & Bucknell 

Since many people in our world have shifted to a plant-based diet, the food industry has responded by providing more options than we have ever had before. For general food shopping, I recommend Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Although Whole Foods can be a little pricier, their plant-based section is significantly larger than any other food store I have been to. They have also committed to ensuring that all of their products are whole, which makes their plant-based food selection even more enticing. Trader Joe’s is infamous for its frozen meals that still taste gourmet. Trader Joe’s has an array of plant-based snacks and meals that are very easy to make (especially for college students!). Some of my favorites are the vegan pasta dishes, and vegan Indian-style meals. Similar to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s products are entirely organic, which again makes their selection much more appealing. At Bucknell, The V2 section of Bostwick offers grain bowls that consist of vegetables and plant-based protein. At the Bison, a personal favorite is the Bison Fresh section, where you can make a stir fry bowl with vegan protein, that is entirely plant-based- and delicious!

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Kayla Freibott

Bucknell '25

Hi! My name is Kayla and I am a Political Science/Legal Studies major at Bucknell University. I am a plant lover who loves to learn and spread positivity!
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