How Lizzo and DJ Khaled are changing their minds about vegan food

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From fashion to culture, celebrities are influential in so many ways, and when they talk about vegan food, people listen.

Such was the case when Lizzo — who’s been a vegan since 2020 — recently visited FoodChasers Kitchen in Philadelphia. Owned by twin sisters Kala and Maya Johnstone, the restaurant is known for its meat- and dairy-heavy menu, where egg French toast, seafood grits, and cheesesteaks are the highlights.

However, when they got a call about Lizzo’s planned visit, the Johnstones took up the challenge of preparing a vegan meal for the star and her guests. Normally closed on Wednesdays, the owners opened the restaurant up for Lizzo and commissioned chef Naren Gosine to create a delicious vegan menu.

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So what did Chef Gosine come up with? According to local outlet The Philadelphia Investigator the five-item, mushroom-centric menu featured vegan versions of FoodChaser classics like plant-based grits with spiced mushrooms; tacos stuffed with fried mushrooms, avocado, and pico de gallo; a meatball grinder made with portobello mushrooms and topped with vegan cheese; a cheesesteak sandwich with mushrooms; and mushroom ravioli in vegan butter sauce.

Lizzo enjoyed these items at FoodChasers while playing Uno with her guests. Importantly, however, this visit was not only a fun time for the star, but also enlightened FoodChaser’s approach to food. Because on October 13th and 14th, the restaurant will serve some of the vegan dishes it created for the star in addition to its regular menu.

DJ Khaled trains Rick Ross in vegan milk

Music artist DJ Khaled is also flipping the script on the subject of vegan milk. In the debut episode of GQ Hype Debate Show— created to pit high-profile guests against each other to discuss highly contentious issues — DJ Khaled and fellow musician Rick Ross sat down to chat over snacks.

Ross brought his favorite savory snack to the table – his own Rozay Cheddar flavor from Rap Snacks – while DJ Khaled made the case for the team’s sweet snacks with a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal drenched in almond milk.

“But the key is almond milk. That’s key,” DJ Khaled said, adding that he prefers his moist granola as a “refreshing” midnight snack.

“Rozay’s still scared,” Ross said of almond milk, referring to his nickname in the third person. “I only got up on the two percent milk a couple of weeks ago.” DJ Khaled took the opportunity to defend the plant-based milk, saying, “No, no, no. Get the almond milk.”

“Now you’re all trying to conspire … and it’s the question, ‘Is it from the almond of [stet] the walnut? Are they squeezing it out of the peanut?’” Ross replied jokingly. DJ Khaled played along, saying, “I don’t have that answer and I usually have every answer.”

During the debate’s “closing statement,” DJ Khaled Ross treated himself to a helping of cinnamon toast crunch in a glass full of almond milk. Despite Ross’ initial hesitation, the music artist gobbled down the sweet snack. “Now pour us two glasses of almond milk,” Ross said at the end of the show, “freshly strained.”

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While the Califia Farms almond milk that DJ Khaled touted on the show is vegan, the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal is not. That’s because it’s fortified with vitamin D3, which is typically derived from lanolin (a by-product of the wool industry).

Lizzo continues to change the narrative of vegan food

While DJ Khaled changed Ross’s perception of vegan milk, Lizzo is changing the narrative of vegan food in other ways. As evidenced by FoodChasers Kitchen’s Lizzo-inspired vegan menu, plant-based eating isn’t just sad salads and steamed veggies — it’s simply food made without animal products.

With that in mind, Lizzo continues to question the narrative surrounding vegan food as it intersects with fat phobia, an issue the 34-year-old has highlighted in many ways, including showing the world that fat bodies are beautiful too.

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Last year, Lizzo took to TikTok — a platform she uses to share vegan recipes and food finds — to put a stop to fat scrapers by sharing a video of herself in her underwear slicing a vegan egg sandwich over an audio clip of one woman said, “I see far too many plus-size vegans. Do you want to fry the salad?”

Lizzo continued to clapping back in the caption of the TikTok video. “Yeah, actually,” Lizzo said in reference to the fried salad.

“Shout out to all my fat vegans — we look as good as we feel … and to the haters, good luck chasing this narrow standard of beauty,” Lizzo said.

Lizzo continues to debunk vegan myths, including in one vanity fair Interview published this week. Here she spoke about body autonomy in relation to reproductive rights; playing James Madison’s 200-year-old crystal flute as a statement against racism and oppression; her enormous musical influences; and how activism around body positivity is connected to her plant-based lifestyle.

“​​I lead a very healthy lifestyle – mentally, spiritually, I try to keep everything that I put in my body super clean. Health is something I prioritize wherever that takes me physically,” Lizzo said before you refer to the lettuce frying incident. “I’m not a vegan to lose weight. I just feel better when I eat plants.”

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