Today is World Vegan Day, a time to celebrate the beauty that is plant-based food. Among Latinos, it's also a time to honor those within the community who are at the forefront of the healthy food movement.
Last week, Queens-born Ecuadorian David Tianga co-launched Urban Vegan Kitchen with partner Pamela Elizabeth. The NYC vegan spot prides itself on offering sophisticated comfort food and tasty desserts in a laid-back cafe space. The owners are dedicated to breaking what they believe are misguided stereotypes around vegan food; namely, that it lacks flavor and does not make for satisfying meals.
Dominican female entrepreneur Catherine Cuello-Fuente focuses her efforts on technology - specifically, an app and soon to launch e-commerce site called GreenHopping (GH) - that allows consumers to place orders from nearby vegan restaurants nationwide. Cuello-Fuente suffered a health scare that turned her on to green eating as a way to heal and recover from surgery and avoid ‘preventive’ chemo. She has since become a powerful influencer and advocate within the vegan community.
New York-Salvadorian Dr. Robert Graham, MD, whose recently launched FRxESH Integrative Health Program at Physio Logic promotes the idea of food as medicine, is encourages a holistic approach to disease and the body, while bestselling vegan cookbooks author Terry Hope transforms the message behind vegan food one recipe at a time. Yadira Garcia spearheads a similar initiative by leading the plant-based agenda in New York's public schools.
These pioneers are living proof that plant-based food is both a healthy and flavorful alternative for Latinos.