Meatless for the Nutrition Month at the Inquirer Read-Along

July has been observed as Nutrition Month. The Inquirer Read-Along’s theme on July 13 at the main office of the Philippine Daily Inquirer news organization in Makati City goes meatless for the animals, for the environment and for health.

The Inquirer Read-Along is a corporate social responsibility program of the nation’s leading newspaper, and aims to instill the love of reading among children 7 to 12 years old. Launched in May 2007, the Inquirer Read-Along has reached out to over 20,000 children in 300 sessions in the Inquirer office and at over 50 cities nationwide. The program conducts storytelling sessions with celebrities, professional storytellers and other role models. It has received local and international recognition, such as the Philippine Quill Awards, the Silver Award in the World Young Readers Prize, and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers award.

This video was re-uploaded last July 19, 2019

The Inquirer Read Along group is headed by the Inquirer Research department writers and library staff. For this session, the storytellers are former Miss Earth and TV host Patty Tumulak, a PDI Read-Along ambassador, and professional storyteller Ann Regoso Abacan, Sophia School Principal and dietician. The kids are from the Good Shepherd Montessori, J. Zamora, A. Regidor, and Chair of St. Peter schools, and from the Erda home of orphans and street children.

The food provider is UK-based Quorn—acquired by a leading Philippine food group Monde Nissin Corp—and produces environmentally sustainable meat replacement products that are both tasty and nutritious.

University of Exeter scientists recently revealed that the protein-rich, fungi-based mycoprotein from Quorn is better, more effective and faster for building muscles than animal-derived protein like whey or casein. Quorn just launched 12 vegan products, including the custom vegan filling for the #1 Veganuary 2019 product, the Greggs sausage roll. Quorn has also launched the fishless fillets and Ultimate Burger, with an even better taste and texture. More ingredients are being tested in order to create vegan binding agents to replace the egg in Quorn’s non-vegan range. Quorn’s non-animal derived Southern Fried Burger and Sausage with steamed rice and mixed vegetables are featured here.

The world’s future is in the hands of our children. And if today’s kids nurture that desire to read and know more, then this will build the strong foundation for a future when humans finally realize how environmentally destructive many of today’s practices are, which include animal farms that breed and raise livestock for their meat, milk, skin, feathers and eggs.

Many such human activities have wiped out vast swaths of rainforest, have poisoned large bodies of water, and have led to the loss of habitat and decimation of numerous species of animals. The inhumane conditions in livestock farms and slaughterhouses have also caused the suffering and torture of billions upon billions of farm animals.

It’s heartening to know, therefore, that  the number of people switching to non-animal derived foods and items are steadily increasing, and making manufacturers of meat substitutes even more popular and commercially viable. Quorn, for instance, operates the world’s biggest production facility for meat alternatives, yet its Quorn mince has a carbon footprint 90% lower than beef, while Quorn pieces have a carbon footprint 70% lower than chicken.

While the Inquirer Read-Along program aims to increase Filipino children’s desire to read, we at TessDrive aim to increase Filipino kid’s hunger for more veggies, grains and fruits, and ultimately wean them away from all animal products. We at TessDrive share in the Inquirer’s belief that reading is at the core of learning, and that building a nation of readers is vital in building a nation of leaders. A nation of leaders who are fully aware of the dire consequences of eating meat, and the far-reaching benefits of a plant-based diet, will ultimately lead to a society that ensures the survival and prosperity not only of the human race, but of all the other creatures–great and small–that we share this planet with.

TessDrive’s official coverage vehicle for this activity has been the hybrid-electric Toyota Prius C, which has as its second source of power an electric motor that helps the vehicle burn less fossil fuel than cars powered solely by internal combustion engines. As a result, the Prius C  also emits lower levels of greenhouse gases, and doesn’t use animal-sourced leather.