April 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm , by Nick Shell
3 years, 5 months.
I get it that “plant-based families” like us live a much different lifestyle than mainstream America, but I know we can still have fun and “be normal.”
And hopefully,these letters I write to you each day demonstrate that.
Granted, we don’t really go to restaurants, and I suppose that’s not normal.
One of the main reasons is we’re too cheap; which I plan to write more about later…
But the biggest reason we don’t go out to eat is because we can’t/don’t trust what’s in the food at most places.
It’s one thing to avoid all animal products (including butter, cheese, eggs, lard, etc.) but for our family, it’s more than that.
In 2013, one million Americans idenitified themselves as vegan (that’s 2.5% of the population), while another 7.3 million identified as vegetarians. That’s a lot of people, actually.
Well, I would have to assume we’re not the only plant-based Americans who hardly ever visit restaurants anymore…
Mainstream American restaurants like Red Lobster and Abblebee’s have lost us as customers as we’ve began watching documentaries like Forks Over Knives, which clearly spell out the connection between getting cancer and the consumption of animal products; as well as what to eat instead, to still get the nutrition we need-perhaps even getting much more than we were getting before!
So if we’re not spending our money at places like those anymore, where are we spending it instead?
Well, as for our family, at least… we’re not.
In other words, I see a largely untapped market: Non-GMO, plant-based, organic restaurants.
I think there’s a lot of money not being made off of people like us.
But that can be tricky for businesses trying to legitimately invite us in.
I know I wouldn’t take a restaurant seriously if they served soda, which is full of GMOs, chemicals, artificial colors and processed sugar; all of which are ingredients I run from. (Diet soda contains even more chemicals I don’t trust.)
It would sort of be an insult if the place was trying to present itself as not simply just “vegan friendly,” but a Non-GMO, plant-based, organic restaurant.
Perhaps my motto, as a vegan, is a quote from Hippocrates:
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
What that means is that if a businessman was clever enough to start a franchise of restaurants that only sold food that was non-GMO, plant-based, organic, and free of artificial flavors, and colors… and avoided oils and gluten… and didn’t use microwaves…
Then I think that businessman could make money off of people like us.
I say that because that’s exactly what happened this past weekend. Mommy found a Groupon for a place calledGreens Cafe at Symmetry, here in Nashville.
We loved it so much that we ended up completely missing the Vanderbilt scrimmage game we were so excited about. We showed up as everyone was leaving. Oops.
But it was really nice for the three of us just to hang out at a café for brunch on a Saturday morning and not have to worry about anything; mainly the food, but for me, I was happy that I had no dishes to clean up.
(I may talk about this too much to you in these letters, but I do a lot of dishes. Living the plant-base life means extra dishes, like the food-processor, for example.)
I do predict within the next decade, more places like this vegan café will be springing up; especially in the mainstream franchises.
Did you know I am a prophet?
Not really. I just know there’s money not being made out there and there’s men with slicked-back hair, wearing nice suits, who are eager to start making that money off of families like us.
And I wouldn’t be insulted if they tried.