Although vegetarianism and veganism are becoming more and more mainstream, many people in America and world-wide are not happy about going completely plant-based. Fear not! There is no need for the extremes. Experts say that the most likely scenario is that the majority of the world’s population will be flexitarians in the future.
A flexitarian is someone who consumes meat and dairy products occasionally, but their diet is mainly plant-based. We’ve been led to believe that we need more protein than we do: it’s actually quite hard to be protein-deficient. Choosing plant-based meals will not hurt your protein levels, and it is also the fastest way to shrink your carbon footprint. And it will improve your own physical and mental health.
If the idea of moving all the way to veganism scares you, don’t go all the way. It doesn’t have to be about elimination, simple reduction would already be a significant step. Plant-based food is more accessible now, and it is awesome – shifting to a more plant-based lifestyle can be easy, gentle and delicious. Make one meal a day plant-based. Any lifestyle change needs to be sustainable: start with something small and make it a habit
This small step will do wonders for your health as well as the environment! A recent Oxford research shows that a global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings.
“What we eat greatly influences our personal health and the global environment. Imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruits and vegetables, and high in red and processed meat, are responsible for the greatest health burden globally and in most regions. At the same time, the food system is also responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore a major driver of climate change,” says lead author Dr. Marco Springmann, of the Oxford Martin Program on the Future of Food.
Adopting diets in line with global dietary guidelines could avoid 5.1 million deaths per year by 2050. Even greater benefits could come from vegetarian diets (avoiding 7.3 million deaths) and vegan diets (avoiding 8.1 million deaths). Approximately half of the avoided deaths were due to reduction of red meat consumption, with the other half due to a combination of increased fruit and vegetable intake and a reduction in calories, leading to fewer people being overweight or obese.
The study projects that by 2050, food-related greenhouse gas emissions could account for half of the emissions the world can afford if global warming is to be limited to less than 2°C. Adopting global dietary guidelines would cut food-related emissions by 29%, vegetarian diets by 63%, and vegan diets by 70%, says the study.
The researchers also modelled the economic benefits of dietary change and found they could save $700-$1,000 BILLION per year on healthcare, unpaid informal care and lost working days. The economic value that society places on the reduced risk of dying could even be as high as 9-13% of global GDP, or $20-$30 TRILLION. In addition, the researchers found that the economic benefit of reduced greenhouse gas emissions from dietary changes could be as much as $570 BILLION.
Of course, putting a dollar value on health and the environment is a sensitive issue, but as we can see, dietary changes will benefit society and the planet.
Brands can capitalize on the rise of diets free from animal products. As we learn more about the impact our dietary choices have on the resources that sustain us, opportunities for companies that specialize in plant-based products are becoming limitless. In March 2020, over 9.7 million Americans reported following plant-based diets, compared to just 290,000 in 2004. Since March 2020, over 2 million new shoppers in the plant-based category have created a massive demand for innovative products that speak to their needs—better-for-you, convenient, plant-based alternatives that fuel a healthy lifestyle.
Plant-based restaurants are a significant factor that will continue to drive long-term adoption of alternative food options.
“As consumers become familiarized with plant-based products and initiatives, a major evolution in consumer habits will take place over the next decade,” says Ross Glick, founder and CEO of Vegan Warrior Project. “Some consumer habits come and go as fads, but plant-based alternatives are here to stay, and this trend will continue to grow.”
Companies like Vegan Warrior Project, which helps restaurants optimize their kitchen capacity, are displaying their unwavering commitment to developing innovative approaches that enable the foodservice industry to ride out any storms and create healthy, delicious food.
About Vegan Warrior Project (VWP)
VWP is a NYC plant-based Food, Technology & Marketing organization, co-founded in 2020 and led by digital marketing and technology veteran Ross Glick, former CEO of iNDELIBLE Media. The company aims to help struggling independent restaurant owners everywhere optimize and maximize their untapped kitchen capacity, so they can create more profits for both the independent restaurant owner and VWP. Vegan Warrior Project is helping and aggregating thousands of independent restaurants to create the first nationwide Plant-Based Kitchen Fulfillment Partnership (‘KFP’) Network to support its geographic expansion for its wholly owned vegan delivery brands www.VistroBurger.com & www.PurpleThai.com. Both brands are currently available for delivery in NYC, from its flagship KFP Plant Bar NYC: Nomad.How It Works