4.6% of the population of Metropolitan Lima is chronically malnourished, as reported by the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) in April 2021. There are many non-profit groups and associations that are trying to change this reality. One of them is the Vegan Common Pots, an initiative of vegan activists and enterprises, which promote a nutritious, healthy diet free of food of animal origin in people in a state of vulnerability in different parts of Lima.
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One of the big myths about veganism and plant-based nutrition is that they are expensive. Veganism, an ethical stance of non-violence against animals, and plant-based nutrition, a diet that seeks health through plant-based foods, are no more expensive than traditional nutrition. In reality, meat is often an inaccessible product due to its high cost. Peru is a country with a great diversity of foods that contain a high nutritional level. However, there is not much information on how to prepare them to improve bioavailability or how to season them to make them more palatable. A group of young people try to show that plant-based foods are not only more accessible but also nutritious and ‘yielding’. Here is his story:
Vegan Stock Pots
Rosa Luyo, one of the founders of Ollas Comunes Veganas, says that this group was founded a year ago, in February 2021; and that this initiative was born as a result of the Vegan Solidarity Christmas events that took place in December 2019 and 2020.
“Since 2019 we wanted to replicate the activity in common pots, but unfortunately in our country the quarantine began in March 2020. Therefore, we could not continue. Just in December 2020, the second Vegan Solidarity Christmas was held and our goal was not to stop, especially given the situation. We knew that a sector of the population was in a vulnerable situation“, Add.
So far, OCV has helped community kitchens in different districts in Metropolitan Lima, for example, in San Juan de Lurigancho, Villa María del Triunfo, Pachacamac, Carabayllo, Comas, Mi Perú, La Victoria and now Ancón.
“The experience is totally unique. We know what a large part of the population of our country goes through, however, it is totally different to arrive and see reality, experience it for a few hours and learn in that short time a very small percentage of the daily and constant struggle that each one of those courageous women do to be able to free their families from hunger and even more so in this context of a pandemic“, bill.
“So far, we have helped 25 common pots. 13 of them, active; 9 of them, and 3 of them, in the process of being reactivated. We have been able to prepare 2445 portions of food that are one hundred percent plant-based and nutritious”, he adds.
Why plant-based food?
The group of activists led by Rosa Luyo, Carlos Polo and Bryan de la Cruz are vegans and are convinced that groups of people can be helped through a plant-based diet. “Animals are not resources, they are sentient beings, therefore it is unethical to cause them suffering or to subordinate their interests to ours.”, comments Luyo.
“We teach that there are alternatives to avoid animal exploitation, even in food, and that animals are not in the world for our consumption. We are committed to helping some without harming others”, he adds.
“The consumption of meat harms the planet, for example, to obtain 1 kg of protein from beans, you need 18 times less land, 10 times less water, 9 times less fuel, 10 times less pesticides, compared to what is required to produce a kilo of beef protein which is the meat of a cow“, Add.
Thanks to the creativity of this group of volunteers, many people in a state of vulnerability can eat nutritious meals. Among the inputs they use the most are soybeans and their derivatives. This legume is very versatile and very nutritious. In addition, thanks to the appearance of meat, it usually surprises those who eat it if it is well cooked.
“We are not chefs, nor nutritionists in many cases, nor are we assiduous cooks in our homes, but in the common pots we have learned by force to cook for large quantities and the ladies of these pots have taught us a lot, they are our greatest support for power each date successfully finish each common pot”, says Luyo.
How to help?
Currently, OCV receives support from some vegan ventures and companies such as Magnesol. However, it is not enough for this project to continue to grow as they wish.
Support for Vegan Common Pots can be provided through physical donations. They have four collection points in Magdalena, Carabayllo, Puente Piedra and San Juan de Miraflores. Donations of food and supplies are only of plant origin.
In addition, you can support yourself by volunteering: vegans or people who are changing their lifestyle are needed so that the project continues to grow. “The volunteers in the Vegan Common Pots usually vary from pot to pot, we have been able to have up to 10 volunteers at the beginning and we have been able to make a pot with up to two volunteers, including the coordinator”, he comments. Luyo.
Finally, donations can also be made in bank accounts:
- BCP Soles account is 19299272269017.
- Interbank is 00219219927226901736.
- BCP Dollars account is 19205951205117.
- Interbank is 00219210595120511733.
- Yape: 9029 76312
- PayPal: mail [email protected]
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