Nothing beats spending a sunny summer day at one of Vancouver’s beautiful beaches, pools or parks – except maybe doing that while also enjoying a delicious plant-based meal or treat. Thanks to some new menu additions at a number of city-run concession stands, it’s never been easier to do exactly that!
Mark Halyk, the Food & Beverage Operations Manager for the Vancouver Board of Parks & Recreation, explained that the move to offer more veg and vegan options on concession menus is part of the city’s larger effort to meet the growing demand for local, healthier and more sustainable foods. Other recent sustainability-focused Park Board initiatives include reducing single-use plastics, switching to wooden cutlery and offering discounts to patrons who supply their own travel mug.
The new menu additions are a big change from what you might typically find at concession stands. They include a variety of veg and vegan Vij’s curries (available at Second Beach and Jericho beach locations), battered cauliflower tacos and battered avocado tacos that are veg but can be made vegan (available at all locations except Sunset Beach and Railway Café), plant-based burgers including the Beyond Meat burger and Yves burger (available at all locations) and fresh plant-based salads with greens grown on local golf courses (available at Second Beach, Third Beach, Kitsilano pool, Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks East).
You’ll also be able to cool off with plant-based Umaluma gelato (available at Kitsilano pool and Jericho Beach) and treat yourself to Erin Ireland’s “To Die For” plant-based loaves and cookies and Three Farmers roasted chickpea, lentil and pea snacks (available at all locations).
Recent surveys have indicated that a growing number of Canadians are reducing their consumption of animal-based foods. In fact, a survey released just last week from Insights West found that 27% of Canadians are likely to consider a vegetarian diet and 11% would take the next step and explore a vegan diet. Meanwhile, 26% of Canadians are likely to drop dairy from their diet. Younger generations are especially open to changing their diets – with 38% of 18-34-year-olds likely to go veg; 17% are likely to try veganism; and 36% are likely to go dairy-free. The survey found the leading motivators for those considering veg and vegan diets are animal cruelty, environmental impact, and personal health.
With awareness building around the many benefits of a plant-based diet, Vancouver Humane is thrilled to see more humane, healthy and sustainable plant-based foods on city menus. Improving public access to these foods is a step in the right direction when it comes to creating a more just and sustainable food system. So, the next time you’re out and about in Vancouver enjoying the beautiful summer weather and are in need of a meal or snack, be sure to check out the plant-based options at any nearby city-run concession stand!