Hi there! We are Fred and Jeffrey from Komo Comfort Foods! We are both vegan and believe plant-based eating is better for the people, planet, and animals.
Fred has been plant-based for over five years whereas Jeffrey is approaching one year. We think everyone can incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet and aim to do so through our foods at Komo. We’ve compiled a snapshot of our experience and things we’ve noticed after going plant-based.
It is estimated that currently 3% of consumers follow a vegan diet, 5% vegetarian, 53% omnivores and 36% flexitarian. Therefore, plant-based eating is relatively new to many. Adopting a full plant-based/vegan diet can raise questions from others that see it as a major change. Being interrogated by family, friends or strangers is never enjoyable, but sometimes it comes from a place of genuine curiosity.
“I’m asked all the time – why plant-based? But I don’t mind it because I know my main motivation is because of the animals. Each question as an opportunity to share and educate others on the topic of plant-based eating and its positive impacts. ”- Jeffrey
A diet full of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds as well as complexed carbohydrates (i.e. peas, beans, whole grains which our body turns into glucose to use as energy) as well as some fortified foods or a good quality nutritional supplement (mainly for the B12) should be all a person needs to satisfy their nutritional requirements. Eating whole food while living a plant-based lifestyle will allow you to eat low fat and good fat, less calories, more nutritious food containing dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C. Your body will thank you.
“As for me, I am a health nut and I have taken the step to go plant-based first so my body would get more nutrients, more antioxidants to my cells, all 100 trillion of them stay at their optimal health. Plant-based diets are considered much higher in fibre, rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats, better for heart health and lowers the chances of having a degenerative disease. Being vegan also promotes the urge to read labels when buying food so we are more aware of the ingredients that we want to ingest… it did that to me!” - Fred
Restaurants are adapting their menus with more plant-based options to accommodate the trend towards more plant-forward eating. From fast food to Michelin star restaurants, chefs and menus are adapting with the plant-based movement. However, eating out is still a challenge encountered by many choosing to adopt a plant-based diet. Gone are the days of just fries (in most cases), but there is generally a lack of options on most menus.
“Eating out is definitely much harder. When eating out with friends and family, I’ve found the need to research the place prior to know if there were options on the menu and even if there were, if they were good options that I’d be satiated with. It takes more prep work and sometimes this also means eating beforehand. Not being able to share foods with family and friends is also a change. Especially growing up in my culture, where food sharing is common at any meal occasion. At Komo, we hope to create share worthy plant-based meals that everyone can enjoy together.” - Jeffrey
Along the plant-based journey, there may be moments of frustration, exhaustion and a feeling that you’re failing. Veganism is going against the status quo and that can always be challenging.
“I remind myself that the goal isn’t perfection, but that I’m making a conscious effort to better the planet and animals through what I choose to eat every day. If I unknowingly consume a product with dairy, I don’t beat myself up over it. I will just know better for next time. I don’t think we can expect people to go plant-based overnight and everyone has their own journey of education and discovery. It took me working in the plant-based food industry for ten years to make a strong enough connection to make the change.” - Jeffrey
Serotonin, tryptophan and melatonin which are all essential elements of sleep are found in many vegan foods. Melatonin for example is found in most nuts, goji berries and even tart cherry juice! Tryptophan is an amino acid found in oats, nuts and seeds and it is also used by our body to make serotonin and melatonin! Serotonin is found in soy products, nuts seeds, spinach and helps regulate mood, happiness and anxiety.
“Since living the plant-based lifestyle, I sleep much better, yet I also have a lot more energy. More energy because it comes down to digestion. You see, digesting plant-based food is so much easier to digest and doesn’t use as much energy therefore most of the energy produced is shared throughout the body as opposed to just digestion! No more falling asleep after a meal!” - Fred
Choosing to be more plant-based changes your relationship with food from grocery shopping, cooking, eating to sharing food. This often starts with learning more about the foods we consume everyday and reading labels of our grocery items.
“As a food scientist, I’m already always reading food labels to know the ingredients in my grocery items. However, this is now the first thing I do when I see a new product on the shelf. Looking for the Vegan symbol and combing through the ingredients. Milk or milk ingredients are often in many unsuspecting products! Because of the lack of convenient options, I’ve also had to cook more meals and change how I cook to avoid animal products. It’s a constant learning process and I’m amazed by all the creative solutions to create truly satisfying vegan food. Through learning more about the food I eat and cooking more in the kitchen, I am definitely more connected to the food and where it comes from.” - Jeffrey
“I went Plant based for health reasons, yet I have learned the way that animals are treated today in order to feed the world and now, I enjoy a completely vegan lifestyle. Going vegan, opened me up to empathy towards animals resulting in an overwhelming sense of compassion.
Adopting a plant-based lifestyle opened up so many doors and information I didn’t know. Knowing where our food comes from and how it is made is very important, I have found.
Looking back at my past, I have some remorse for sure. Being a former Executive chef of a very large restaurant where I bought thousands of kilos of chicken, beef, pork, salmon, halibut, … because it was on the menu I designed! I wish I could go back, change the menu. It can only be a dream.
I won’t go into details here on how these animals are treated yet I now have so much compassion because I gave myself the opportunity to learn and make an informative decision on what the rest of my life will look like.” - Fred
At Komo, we’re on a mission to share the love of plant-based foods and make plant-based meals a staple at every dinner table. We believe change can start with a single bite and through our comfort foods, we aim to make plant-based eating easy, wholesome and hearty. We recently launched our shareworthy plant-based Lasagna, Shepherd’s Pie, Chick’n Pot Pie, Bolognese Sauce and Taco Filling locally in the lower mainland.
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