Planting the seed

Perhaps it is only fitting that in World Vegan Month, The Future of Your Health report finds that while veganism continues to be increasingly popular, it’s still a highly debated topic.

According to the STADA Group’s European-wide comparison study of different diets, just 2% of Brits identify as vegan; while a third of those asked said they have great respect for people who follow the lifestyle.

At the other end of the scale, a fifth said the lifestyle was ‘nonsense’ and would never banish dairy from their diets, with a further 9% believing it was a temporary phenomenon that would soon disappear.

The study shows years of long-held views that will need changing for a more full embrace of veganism. The European study shows 56% of all study participants who indicated to be vegan are 18 to 34 years old.

In the UK, nutrition is a significant factor in the British public being skeptical about veganism, with 31% believing that vegans lack nutrients.

The report also uncovered that Brits are the least likely to get their pots and pans out and cook a fresh meal out of the nine European countries analysed.

The challenge is in.

While adoption of a vegan lifestyle is fraught with challenges for some on a personal level, pressure is being brought on a governmental level by organisations as large as the UN. It is keen to see the world to turn towards healthy plant-based diets to stop climate change.

Forum for the Future certainly agrees. The charity says food businesses need to move well beyond consumer-driven plant-based product ranges if they are to future-proof themselves and their supply chains through the growing climate crisis.

To my mind, it has never been so important.

It would be good to see companies take a more ambitious approach to sustainable nutrition — and putting sustainable protein at the core of their businesses.

A concerted focus understanding the shifts needed to enable healthy, balanced diets with support from the top is one way to go.

Businesses can lead the change. The big question is what their business will look like in a world where sustainable, nutritious, affordable protein is the norm.

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