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RZA Rewards Black-Owned Vegan Restaurants

RZA, the iconic hip hop artist, and Violife, a vegan cheese manufacturer, gave $100,000 to five restaurants that promote plant-based eating in their communities on Thursday (September). Plant Grants, a new program aiming at making vegan food more “delicious, accessible, and available in local communities,” made the grant.


RZA gives out grants

“I’m excited to work with the Plant Grants restaurants because they are on the front line of the plant-based revolution in their communities, through their recipes and the individual touch they put on their dishes to give their customers a great meal,” RZA said.

“We are what we eat. For me, that means I still get to eat cheese – vegan cheese from Violife – and with their help, I get to convince people to switch to foods made from plants because they taste good, they’re affordable, and there is a whole lot of variety to choose from,” RZA continued.

Seasoned Vegan (Harlem, New York), Meek’s Vegan Pizza (Houston, Texas), Supreme Oasis Bakery and Deli (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Vegans on the Run LLC (Shreveport, Louisiana), and Plant Power Café & Juice Bar (Chattanooga, Tennessee) will each earn $20,000, along with training and guidance in fresh vegetarian meals and community engagement.

“With the 2021 Plant Grants program, we’re tackling plant-based food inequity head on by empowering Black-owned restaurants to offer more plant-based dishes to their communities – dishes that will delight customers and keep them coming back for more,” Lisa Akey, head of Away from Home Marketing for Violife USA said in a statement.

Lifestyle change

In the 90s, RZA started exploring with the vegan diet by giving up red meat, chicken, and fish. RZA revealed how the transformation happened during a visit to The Joe Rogan Experience.

“I could knock back about 30 chicken wings,” RZA brought up during the 2019 interview. “On the 29th chicken wing, my teeth hit the bone. My mind said, ‘Dead bird. You in New York City with all these pigeons flying around, and here you are, supposed to be an intelligent human being and you eating on a dead bird.’ I was like, ‘That sounds pretty stupid to me.’ I never ate it again.”

RZA added, “To be honest with you, bro, I just hit you with this right here, the reality of how I feel: No animal needs to die for me to live, OK?”
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