Eating a meat-free diet is more sustainable as well as healthier, according to David Jonas, founder and director of Vegetarian Express.
Speaking at the 10th annual Protein Summit in Reims about the importance of plant-based foods, Jonas said: “Plant-based diets are not only healthier; they are also more sustainable, because they have a much lower environmental impact than meat-based diets. Plant-based diets use 15x less water; 13x less fossil fuel and 12x less land.”
By 2050 there will be nine people in the world and there are calls from experts to reduce meat consumption to protect the environment and have enough food security globally.
There has, however, been an increase in the number of people eating a plant-based diet. According to a survey by the Vegetarian Society, the number of people switching to a vegan diet has quadrupled over the last 10 years, and Kantar research shows that during the 12 months to June 2016, 2.4m UK consumers went from being medium to heavy meat-eaters to being ‘light’ meat-eaters. 55% of the UK population now class themselves as being ‘flexitarian’, eating less meat.
Reflecting this trend – and marking its 30th anniversary – Vegetarian Express has rebranded and now focuses on three pillars: Ingredients – Knowledge and expertise of sourcing plant-based food; Ideas – An incubator for new ideas, driven by real foodie relationships; and Inspiration – Using our larder and development kitchen to create inspiring menus.
The company hopes to capitalise on the rise of ‘the flexitarian’ to drive more sales.