It is Monde Nissin Corporation’s first time participating in Tzu Chi Foundation’s 21-day vegetarian lunch meal campaign and it has been well-received by the 40 employees who have chosen to take part.
Launched in 2016, the 21-day Vegetarian Lunch Campaign encourages people to eat only vegetarian dishes for lunch in a span of 21 days. Tzu Chi volunteers cook vegetarian meals and sell them to participants for Php80 per meal.
By exposing more people to a vegetarian diet, Tzu Chi hopes they will eventually realize its benefits and adopt this lifestyle.
The campaign is also part of Tzu Chi Philippines’ observance of the Seventh Lunar Month, or the Auspicious Month, which fell in August this year, where they intend to promote respect for all living beings.
The Monde Nissin is one of the 126individuals and companies who took part in this year’s 21-Day Vegetarian Lunch Campaign. Employees from their Mandaluyong sales office, as well as the main corporate location in Makati participated.
Tzu Chi’s first encounter with Monde Nissin was at the Fiesta Verde 2016: A Benefit Food and Wellness Festival organized by the Buddhist charity group. Held at the Metrotent Convention Center in Pasig City in October 2016, it aimed to promote healthy lifestyle to more people.
The affinity between Tzu Chi and Monde Nissin grew when Tzu Chi volunteers got the chance to meet with the company’s CEO, Henry Soesanto, and began to discuss the benefits of adopting a healthy diet.
Soesanto himself is a vegan for the past seven years now, and continues to promote healthy eating among the employees of the company.
“To tie up with an organization like Tzu Chi is great especially as we have this advocacy of asking people not to quit cold turkey, but to eat less meat. When you have Tzu Chi as an organization espousing the same thing, it helps send the message to a broader audience,” says Jesse Teo, chief financial officer of the company.
At the same time, he adds, it gives people an opportunity to appreciate the environment more.
“I know about the unsustainability of meat and the ethics of producing meat. I become more conscious and try to consciously reduce meat intake,” Teo shares.
Tzu Chi’s founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen firmly advocates for everyone to become vegetarian as a way to protect the planet.
Several scientific studies have revealed that raising animals for human consumption is polluting the land, and using up a lot of the planet’s potable water and edible crops which could have been better used if allocated to the millions of starving children in third world countries.
Animals also generate harmful greenhouse gases such as methane that contribute to Global Warming and Climate Change.
Apart from its environmental benefits, a vegetarian lifestyle is also caring for one’s health.
Monde Nissin’s chief legal officer Helen Tiu participated in the 21-day Vegetarian Lunch campaign for health reasons. Because of diabetes, her doctor had suggested that she eat more vegetables.
Just in time, Tzu Chi launched its vegetarian campaign, making it easier for Tiu to follow her doctor’s advice.
“Going through the vegetarian packed lunch meals for the past few weeks has had a significant effect on my health,” Tiu says, adding that her blood sugar had gone down a significant level.
Tiu also adds that a vegetarian lifestyle is a viable option especially in the Philippines, where sickness and poverty are rampant. Vegetables are more affordable than meat and also healthier. By promoting this lifestyle, Tzu Chi is not only helping the planet but the people as well.
“This is [actually] one way of helping, because it’s better health-wise to do the right thing rather than suffer very costly health issues,” she ends.
Upon arriving at the Monde Nissin corporate offices in Ayala, Makati, the packed lunches are unloaded, while the clean lunch kits from the previous day are returned. 【Photo by Erin Uy】
Before delivering the orders up to the corporate offices on the 21st floor, a Tzu Chi volunteer converses with the point of contact for Monde Nissin. 【Photo by Erin Uy】
A normal work day at the Monde Nissin corporate offices starts at 8 in the morning; and can often extend beyond eight hours when the workload piles high. Because of the nature of their work, employees have to make the most of their time in the office. 【Photo by Erin Uy】
Chief Financial Officer Jesse Teo is hard at work. He is in charge of the company’s finances, and therefore has to spend long hours in front of the computer, balancing the budget allotted for various projects and undertakings that Monde Nissin engages in locally. 【Photo by Erin Uy】
Serving as the company’s Chief Legal Officer, Helen Tiu makes sure that the company minimizes legal problems that it may encounter while dealing with concerns that might pose a risk to the company as a whole. 【Photo by Erin Uy】
Lunch time at the Monde Nissin corporate office gets busy as employees take to their seats and enjoy their meal. 【Photo by Erin Uy】
Over at the Monde Nissin sales office in Mandaluyong, an employee showcases some of the various Quorn products that are locally available. 【Photo by Erin Uy】