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A Plant-Based Diet Provides Food for Thought

March, 2019
  • Dr. Joanne Kong
    Dr. Joanne Kong gave a talk on “The Power of Plant Based Eating."

A new student club posed an idea to Quinsigamond Community College students, faculty and staff to consider the impact of their diet on the well-being of themselves and the world. The club, called Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (SETA), was formed by Kelsey Crisostomo, a first year student at QCC. Kelsey’s interest in the topic began when she performed research for a paper and found a video on YouTube of a TEDx talk, given by Dr. Joanne Kong. Dr. Kong’s topic was, “The Power of Plant Based Eating.” Dr. Kong discussed the harmful impacts of animal agriculture on the environment; on human physical and emotional health, as well as concerns about the treatment of the animals. The message resonated with Ms. Crisostomo, who started talking to students and faculty about the topic. Some like-minded students shared Kelsey’s passion and the SETA club was formed.

Club members were so energized by Dr. Kong’s TEDx talk the students invited her to QCC to speak to the community on March 9. An engaged audience attended of QCC students, faculty, staff and members of the Worcester community attended the event.  Dr. Kong discussed Environmental impacts that included carbon and methane gas produced by animals; fecal contamination from animals in run-off water; large amounts of potable water diverted to animal agriculture, and deforestation from clearing land for grazing pastures. A group discussion followed during which participants acknowledged that change is difficult, and generated ideas for easy to prepare meals and tips to help individuals in transitioning to a more plant-based diet over time. An informal plant-based lunch was shared afterward by attendees.

The club plans to hold additional events; ideas suggested include cooking classes, speakers and possibly producing a cookbook of easy to prepare plant-based recipes. To learn more about SETA, contact Kelsey Crisostomo at krcrisostomo [at] or club advisor Adrienne Linnell at alinnell [at]