To Millennials like Max Raudaschl, the world's problems may seem distant, even unrelatable. Growing up in a well-to-do family, studying overseas at the University of British Columbia, and traveling the world, Max seems to float on a lifestyle of ease and privilege. But scratch just under the surface and one is surprised by his wealth of depth.
What emerges is a thoughtful, observant, and insightful young man who believes that it is time for the world to change. Food is one of his many passions, especially on the topics of Flexitarianism and food insecurity; which is why Arlene, a plant-based frozen food brand that advocates multicultural diversity and healthy eating, chose him as its face and ambassador.
Max believes in Flexitarianism (also called a semi-vegetarian diet) and feels that for it to go mainstream would require people to have a sheer willingness to change what they are eating now. According to Max, the diet simply involves limiting your meat consumption consciously for various reasons, which include the environment, animal welfare, and so on.
“Throughout my life, my parents' food business has had a major influence on me. Growing up, food revolved around meat and other animal-based products rather than plant-based foods,” says Max.
This motivated the 22-year-old to try a Flexitarian diet two years ago. I wanted to know what a full, plant-based diet could do for my body. It took me two months to realize I enjoyed it - my energy level increased! I’m consuming a light density of calories and wasn’t feeling lethargic after a meal. I shared this with my mum, and that’s how we began the idea of promoting this lifestyle that’s both kind to the body and to earth.”
Now into his second year of a Flexitarian diet, Max hopes to influence more people to adopt it because: "Poor diets are often caused by a lack of access to healthy, vegetarian foods at affordable prices." In his opinion, markets need to be closer to communities, backyard farming must be promoted, and plant-based foods should be made available at reasonable prices by more companies.
For Max, being a good example of Flexitarianism is the best way to get people to understand and like it. “Thanks to the nutrition I’ve been taking, it has not been difficult to be on a flexitarian diet - things are easier with the right food.”
Nevertheless, some people don't see the point in eating healthier. While Max admits that such criticisms can sound unfair, he prefers not to retaliate in a knee-jerk manner.
Readers who are contemplating trying Flexitarianismare advised just to try it. “Don’t knock it until you try it! Give it a shot, and see how your body feels, and how your energy levels, moods, and emotions change as a result,” says Max.
The environment needs our attention more than ever, and what better way to start than by participating in green living activity as a pastime?
The Christmas season is the perfect time to gift the earth-loving people in your life with a token of appreciation. The planet has given us so much – let’s return the favor!