Veganuary and The Rising Trend of A Meat Free Lifestyle!
The Vegan diet often comes under fire from many people and with 2024 set to see a big vegan-boom, let's take a little look at the ins & outs!
Over the last year consumer are not only looking for foods that are good for their health and wellbeing, but they are also considering the environment and animal welfare. Trend predictors have forecasted that 2024 will be the most vegan year yet - we are expecting to see more people take on a vegan diet in 2024 than any other year in history, but why? More and more people are jumping on the vegan bandwagon, and it's not just about salads and green smoothies. Sure, health is a big factor, with plant-based diets getting a thumbs-up for their potential to fend off diseases. But it's not just about personal well-being; many are choosing veganism to be more eco-friendly, slashing their carbon footprint and giving a nod to sustainability. Plus, there's the whole "animals are friends, not food" vibe that's gaining HUGE traction (and rightly so). With a growing array of tasty plant-based options hitting the shelves, going vegan is now more about embracing a flavourful and compassionate lifestyle rather than sacrificing flavour or fun.
With that in mind, and the fact that shelves are already bursting with vegan products, does that mean we can expect to see more meat-free products hit shops? Not necessarily! It looks as though, even though more people are going to be taking on a vegan diet, they are going to be using more fresh produce to cook with, instead of buying pre-made products from supermarkets. And why not? Why buy a packet of vegan mushrooms burgers, that contain a potential HUGE amount of ultra-processed foods, when you can make one at home, for half the price, using exactly what the product is, mushrooms! A lot of the time convenience comes into play, it is so much easier to whack a pre-made burger into the oven than it is to make one from scratch at home, I get it; but when you delve into what ultra-processed foods actually means, it might steer you away.
There's also the big S word... Soya! A lot of Vegan and plant-based products contain a lot of Soya, which has recently been linked to climate damage. Most soya comes from America and nearly half from just two countries, Brazil and Argentina. Growth of the soya industry has been meteoric, with production in Brazil quadrupling in just 20 years. Huge tracts of the forests in South America have been lost at the hands of the expanding soya industry and some of the biggest environmental impacts posed are deforestation, threatened biodiversity and carbon emissions.
Briefly mentioned earlier, people are also becoming more and more aware of the way that animals are treated. In the age of information, people are waking up to the realities of meat production, and it's changing the way we approach our carnivorous cravings. The curtain has been pulled back on factory farming, revealing the less-than-ideal living conditions animals endure. The crowded and less-than-hygienic spaces, leading consumers to question the ethics of their meat choices. It's not just about what's on our plates; it's about how it gets there, right? The graphic details of some slaughter practices have catapulted the treatment of animals to the forefront of our culinary conscience. This newfound awareness is sparking a movement toward more humane alternatives and a demand for transparency in the food industry. It's not just a diet; it's a moral compass pointing toward choices that respect the well-being of our fellow creatures.
To summaries, because I've waffled a bit... Embarking on a vegan lifestyle comes with a set of pros and cons. On the positive side, a vegan diet is often associated with health benefits, including lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Plant-based eating can lead to increased fibre intake, aiding digestion and promoting overall well-being. Moreover, adopting a vegan lifestyle aligns with ethical values, as it avoids supporting industries that exploit animals. On the flip side, some challenges include potential nutrient deficiencies, particularly in vitamin B12, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are more prevalent in animal products. Finding balanced and varied vegan meals requires careful planning to ensure all nutritional needs are met. Additionally, social situations and dining out can present challenges, as vegan options may be limited. Striking a balance between the health, ethical, and practical aspects is essential for those considering a vegan lifestyle.
Will you be taking on the vegan-lifestyle trend?
Georgina Williams - Marketing Assistant