2019 has arrived and if you don’t have a resolution this year worry not, for auntie Beyonce and uncle Jay-Z have decided to make one for you.
In the introduction for Marco Borges’ (Beyoncé’s trainer) new book, The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World, the couple challenge their fans to try veganism.
According to People, they wrote,
“Having children has changed our lives more than anything else. We used to think of health as a diet — some worked for us, some didn’t. Once we looked at health as the truth, instead of a diet, it became a mission for us to share that truth and lifestyle with as many people as possible.”
Apparently, this has led to switching it up for their entire family, and a “want to challenge you, as we challenge ourselves,” as well. They added,
“We all have a responsibility to stand up for our health and the health of the planet. Let’s take this stand together. Let’s spread the truth. Let’s make this mission a movement. Let’s become ‘the Greenprint.’”
However, most of the Beyhive and Hov stans aren’t going.
I love Beyoncé but aint no way in hell ima go vegan for her ass
— . (@Byuncee) January 2, 2019
Beyoncé: I incorporate vegan dishes into my diet and I’ve enjoyed doing so. Try it if you can.
Y’all: HOW DARE THAT RICH BITCH DEMAND US POORS TO DO THE IMPOSSIBLE DOESNT SHE KNOW ABOUT FUCKING FOOD DESERTS WOW
— Gangsta + Goddess (@rudapu92) January 2, 2019
I will go vegan if beyonce releases a solo album
— Kristen Pyszczyk (@kpyszczyk) January 2, 2019
And understandably so — being vegan ain’t cheap.
One study reported by ABC News last year showed that low-income Americans now would have to spend up to 70 percent of their food budget on fruits and vegetables to meet new national dietary guidelines for healthy eating.
A second study found that in rural areas, convenience stores far outnumber supermarkets and grocery stores — even though the latter carries a much wider choice of affordable, healthy foods. Author of the second report and an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Angela Liese, said,
“I think it’s a matter of raising awareness among health professionals — and that could be dieticians or diabetes educators or even doctors — that when we typically give people a recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables, that is actually so much more complicated in a rural environment.”
However, what Beyoncé, Jay-Z and anyone living the vegan lifestyle is trying to tell us, is that going plant-based is not only to look good and be healthy but that it’s also in our best interest given the times we’re in.
Last year was a doozy for the industrialized food industry. The Centers for Disease Control investigated 24 foodborne illness outbreaks in 2018, a huge leap considering there was only 25 investigated in 2015 and 2016 combined.
The E. coli outbreak was that happened last year was the one no one missed. It was the biggest E. coli outbreak of the last 13 years, sickening 10 people in 36 states and killing five. 96 victims landed in the hospital, 27 of whom developed kidney failure.
And while, yes, the main product affected was romaine lettuce (a vegetable) the Food and Drug Administration thinks a concentrated animal feeding operation water came in contact with and affected romaine lettuce.
Similarly, in February there was a salmonella outbreak in chicken salad that hit Iowa (240 sick, the one death) and seven other Midwestern states that didn’t draw much notice compared to the E. coli outbreak.
The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service reported a recall of 91,388 pounds to 147,276 pounds of the ground turkey brand Jennie-O Turkey that occurred right before Thanksgiving and again, recalled 164,210 pounds of their ground turkey products, on the Friday night before the turkey industry’s other big day — Christmas.
Between tariff wars with China, which have already affected the soybean and corn harvest in Iowa, the food recalls and E. coli outbreak, it’s been damn scary just to grocery shop.
If there was ever a time to take special notice to our dietary consumption it’s now. And while it’s inevitably easier for billionaires to invest in what they’re putting in their bodies, it doesn’t make what they’re saying any less valid.
If we cannot afford to go vegan or we’re not even interested, we should at least research what we’re eating; if there’s anything to take away from the Carters’ vegan challenge, it’s that.
We all should probably go vegan, but if you don’t at least make sure you know what’s going in your body.