Vegan food: fad or feast?

January 7, 2019 6:09 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s Veganuary – and the world is suddenly full of vegans. There’s a vegan in every office, a vegan option on every pub menu, vegan ready meals in every supermarket, and vegan arguments all over twitter. What’s going on? Where have all the vegans come from?

Vegan food - it's fashionable, but is it just a fad? Or a real feast for the sense?

 

Like dairy-free ninjas, they’ve crept up on us stealthily! The Vegan Society was formed as far back as 1944, when no-one had even heard of quinoa, tofu or nutritional yeast. It’s fair to say that as a trend, veganism took a while to catch on.

But right now, in January 2019, it’s the biggest food movement there is. It’s massive business, with food retailers falling over themselves to grab a share of the (plant-based) pie. There are vegan food festivals, vegan restaurants, vegan junk food stalls, vegan wine manufacturers and a thriving vegan community in every town and city. According to an Ipsos Mori poll commissioned by the Vegan Society in 2016, the number of vegans in the UK has more than tripled over the last ten years, from 150,000 to 542,000 (and is reckoned to have risen at the same rate since that survey was published). Veganism is hip, on trend, immensely popular with millennials and spreading like wildfire on social media.

But is it all just a fad?

The Mori poll results showed that a clear majority of those identifying as vegans are under the age of 35, and female. Veganism is big with the younger generation, for many of whom it fits with other interests and personal philosophies. Ten years ago, vegans were – in general – in it for the sake of the animals. That factor is still a major draw, but other things are of equal concern, such as worries about the environment and issues to do with personal fitness. There are a growing number of vegans who have given the question of animal cruelty very little thought, but simply want to ‘eat clean’ for health reasons.

A movement that allows people to join it for a variety of reasons, rather than forcing them to sign up to a narrow creed, has, arguably, a high chance of long-lasting success. The same is true of a movement that allows people to dip in and out of it to start with, rather than demanding an ‘all or nothing’ approach from Day One. That’s where Veganuary comes in: for existing vegans, it’s a great chance to celebrate their values. For people who are simply curious, it’s an opportunity to give veganism a go for just a month. It’s a pragmatic approach, of course: get the carnivores on board for a month, the organisers reckon, and they’ll see the benefits and stay. If you sign up to the Veganuary website, you’ll receive continual encouragement, advice, recipes and shopping tips. You might just find, along with 542,00 others, that you’ve found your people…

Or is it a feast?

Way back last century, vegetarians used to claim that their diet was ‘more varied’ than that of meat-eaters. The statement made little sense and probably converted very few people – after all, meat-eaters can eat everything a vegetarian can eat, while the opposite isn’t true.

Expressed a different way, however, you can see what they were getting at. If you’re a millennial on a vegan diet, the chances are that you’re currently eating like a king, feasting on the most amazing combinations of flavours, textures and colours. The sheer act of having to find alternative protein and non-dairy sources will have forced you to be creative and imaginative with your food in a way that meat-eaters usually aren’t. The vibrancy of the vegan community, continually sharing new ideas and recipes, will have opened up food avenues you’d never even suspected existed.

A simple, quick google of vegan dishes brings up things like ‘vegan m’hanncha’ and ‘miso-grilled aubergine and cucumber pickle rice bowl’ on the first page. The Veganuary website, meanwhile, suggests ‘tofu shallot satay with kale crispy seaweed’ – or ‘avocado, watercress and dill summer rolls with orange and soy dipping sauce’. Veganism can easily be a feast for all the senses – a joyful celebration of a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Make it a proper feast

At Naturally Good Food we sell the raw materials you need for your vegan feast. We want to make sure that all vegans are eating the very best diet. Fad means fashion – but faddy eating can also mean picky or disordered eating. If you cut something out of your diet, you need to put something back in, to cover all nutritional bases. Put simply, vegans need proper, high-quality alternative sources of protein, along with all the vitamins and minerals they might otherwise obtain from animal products – in particular, vitamin B12 and iron.

For a healthy vegan diet, you need proper advice, which you can’t do better than obtain from the Veganuary website. And then you need proper foodstuffs. Naturally Good Food sells the best: we’re experts on organic food, but we also sell non-organic food. We sell natural food that’s not been heavily processed or stuffed full of unpleasant additives. We sell to individuals and in bulk, for groups of friends and for vegan businesses.

Here’s what we can offer to vegans:

Whether you’re a fully paid-up vegan, a new Veganuary convert, or simply v-curious, we’ve got everything you need for your Veganuary plant-based feast.

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This post was written by Yzanne

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