Drawing upon a cost comparison of products in eight of the country’s largest supermarket chains, it has been found that on average, plant-based protein sources are significantly cheaper per portion than meat products.
Lockdown has been a time of introspection for many – especially if you’ve been furloughed or have less work coming in. There is now an almost unprecedented amount of time for reflection – on the state of the world, on our own personal choices, and on the kind of future we’d like to be a part of.
One of the apparent results of this introspection has been an increase in public interest in vegan diets. Mintel’s report found that a quarter of 21 to 30-year-olds say the idea of going vegan has become more appealing to them since the pandemic started.
Meanwhile, an independent survey carried out by The Vegan Society found that one in five Brits have cut down on meat consumption during the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey also found 15 percent have reduced their dairy and egg intake over the lockdown period.
While some of this change is attributable to there being fewer animal products on the shelves, particularly at the beginning of lockdown, The Vegan Society’s survey found that 43 percent of those who have swapped to more plant-based foods have done so out of concern for health, environmental or animal rights reasons.
Despite an obvious surge in consumer interest in vegan diets there are still some perceived barriers to making this lifestyle change. Cost is one of these – a factor which is more pressing than ever now that so many Brits have been hit with a loss of income.
But what if, in reality, this was proven to be a misconception? The Vegan Society has conducted a cost comparison of protein-rich foods that dispels the myth of veganism being an unaffordable lifestyle and illustrates how vegan staples and protein sources are the most budget-friendly options for consumers.
Drawing upon The British Dietetic Association’s guidance on portion sizes of protein-rich foods and a cost comparison of products in eight of the country’s largest supermarket chains, it has been found that on average, protein sources such as baked beans, red lentils, tinned chickpeas and kidney beans are significantly cheaper per portion than meat products such as beef, white fish and salmon.
This research illustrates that nutritious plant proteins are some of the most affordable sources of protein on the market. Making a switch to a vegan lifestyle is the common sense choice for those who are concerned about the price of their weekly shop but don’t want to compromise on nutrition or flavour.
The Vegan Society’s Live Vegan for Less campaign aims to highlight how a vegan diet can be the most affordable option for those worried about food prices through cost comparisons, while also providing practical advice and recipes for those on a budget.
Elena Orde is communications and campaigns officer at The Vegan Society and editor of The Vegan magazine.