Veganuary is now in it's the eighth year. But what is it?
Veganuary is an annual event that educates and encourages people to follow a vegan diet during the month of January. Since the event began in 2014, participation has more than doubled each year and spread worldwide.
Vegan food products have been the number one trend for grocery chains for the last five years, and the numbers continue to increase. The States used to the be global leader in vegan foodie trends but that has been surpassed by...the United Kingdom, which is now the number one country in the world for veganism. At Globe all of our products are either vegan or vegetarian.
During the pandemic, plant-based foods sales were up 90% over the previous year with plant-based meat substitute sales continuing to increase as well, which is why nearly every major grocery store now has their own branded meat-substitute products. So, it's never been easier or tastier to try a plant-based diet.
People have varied reasons for wanting to reduce or eliminate animal-based products from their diet. In recent years, one reason that has emerged is the climate. Avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the biggest ways to reduce your environmental impact, according to recent scientific studies by the IPCC.
But can one eat a vegan diet and be healthy?
According to the NHS, yes, even while pregnant, breastfeeding and for children as well, with good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs. As it is, most of us consume far more protein than is required for good health. By cutting down on some of those animal-based proteins and increasing vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, whole grains and nuts and seeds, (all of which have protein as well) you'll likely still get plenty of protein and also a whole lot of health benefits from the added plant food.
If you want to try Veganuary, Meatless Mondays, or cut down on animal-based food products then we have some ideas on how to get started. If this is your first foray with vegan foods, make a quick list of all the things you can eat that are already vegan. It helps to see how much food you can eat rather than noting the things you can't. And focus on taste for this first endeavour.
The obvious and abundant whole food sources:
- All Vegetables
- All Fruits
- All Beans and Legumes
- All Nuts
- All Grains
- All Vegetable Oils
Not so obvious that is what we call "accidentally vegan."
- Dark Chocolate
- Loads of crisps to name a few: even if they have
- Pasta, most dried versions
- Breads, Bagels; Ciabatta is always vegan as it's made with olive oil.
- Marmite and Vegemite
- Nut butters & James
- Baked beans (original recipe, without cheese or sausages etc.)
- Sauces: tomato sauce/ketchup, HP sauce, Tabasco and other pepper sauces, most mustards, Branston pickle
- Chips/French fries: if cooked in veggie oil then they are vegan!
- Porridge/oatmeal: when made with water or plant milk
- Gravy: Original, Reduced Salt, Vegetable, and Onion
We always recommend checking the labels as there can always be exceptions to the rule. Even if the product name or description contains words like beef, prawn, chicken, seafood, creamy, etc. check the ingredients. Many of these flavour profiles are created using spices, not actual animal foods.
There are also ways to add in more flavours to your dishes that meat and cheeses would have normally added to the dish, for example try sprinkling nutritional yeast as a parmesan replacement, try using bouillon stock to soups and dishes. Mushrooms are also a great meat alternative, for instance, finely diced mushrooms, carrots and celery mixed with green lentils, make a fantastic ‘minced meat’ alternative, just remember to add your stock and seasoning.
If you are short of ideas do a search for "vegan recipes" to find loads of easy meals at your fingertips, visit Tang Tongue Tails, a local Vegan Blogger site which has plenty of ideas.