As Maui's original health food restaurant, we've seen plenty of change on Maui. Including the trend of eating a plant-based diet. Not only for our personal health but the health of our planet. We've been dreaming of adding some color and 'soul' to the exterior of our Lahaina location, which is why we reached out to our community of local artists to collaborate on this vision. If you've visited us in the past few weeks, you may have already witnessed the colorful project commissioned by artist Huli Maka Flip. We couldn't be happier with the results! The mural is alive with blooming edible plants and vines including bananas, ginger and lilikoi.
Art with meaning
While the design brings life to Choice Health Bar’s commercial location, it’s the statement atop the exotic foliage that demands the consideration of passerby. ‘Plant-based for the planet’ gives pause or affirmation, depending on one’s understanding of relevant issues and personal diet choices. Choice decided on the statement 'plant-based for the planet' for the new mural as a way to connect the public with our mission.
Benefits of a plant-based diet
Eating plant-based is not only good for lowering carbon emissions and water usage in our food system, it also greatly improves your cardiovascular health. Having healthier humans is good for the planet too, as hospitals and health systems often create heavy impacts on the planet through chemicals and plastics use. Many people choose a vegan diet to protect animals, and may feel that a more 'loose' plant-based approach minimizes the suffering of animals in the meat and dairy industry. We agree, but also believe that a marginal shift of many people can be even more effective than requiring a complete shift of a few people.
Diet directs positive change
Research increasingly points to the meat industry as a major contributor to climate change. In fact, it can be said that the single most important thing that an individual can do for the planet is to switch to a plant-based diet. According to a 2018 article by Oxford University authors "a diet excluding animal products has transformative potential, reducing land use by 76%, agricultural greenhouse emissions by 50%, acidification by 50%, eutrophication by 49% and freshwater withdrawals by 19%”. Other solutions on an individual level including reducing single-use plastics and food waste, reusing and recycling wherever possible. This ‘conscious consumerism’ model puts the overwhelming issue of climate change into the hands of individuals through every day, personal decision making. Conveniently, eating plants is also the best choice for your health.
A healthy trend of empowerment
The demand for plant-based meals is steadily increasing, with health as the top reason and environment second. The trend is growing, especially among younger consumers, with a shift toward eating plant-based ‘for the planet’ rising from 17 to 48 percent (thebeet.com). With the growth of 'meatless Mondays', and expansion of the plant-based food offerings at restaurants and grocery stores, we can see the idea is hitting home. Choosing plant-based, even for just one meal a week, makes a difference and is an easy way for people to start transitioning to a diet that can help secure the future of the planet. A diet focused on plants isn’t just for vegetarians and vegans anymore, many people are reducing their meat and dairy intake as more plant-based alternatives become available. Health food no longer carries a stigma of being without protein or flavor, just try any of the items on Choice's plant-based menu.
We don’t necessarily have to expect perfection but gradual change person by person, day by day, meal by meal is also powerful.
Choosing mindful ingredients
Beyond plant-based, Choice also utilizes certified organic ingredients down to the spices, and works directly with Maui farmers to purchase as much locally grown produce as possible. This results in the freshest, most flavorful and healthy plant-based meals for our customers.
Switching to a plant-based diet may be the most significant action that you can take for the environment. Whether you’re a devoted vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or simply implement ‘meatless Monday’ in your household, feel empowered by the true positive impact that will have for the future of our planet.
About the artist
Originally from Mendoza, Argentina, Julieta Tobar has called Maui home since 2007. “This magical place is where I find peace and inspiration, mostly from nature”, states Tobar.
That connection to nature is evident in her living designs, which can be found in many Maui homes and decorating local businesses.