Why choose a plant-based diet?
It is becoming increasingly clear that the consumption of animal products is a major contributor to numerous global problems. Since a plant-based diet provides a single solution to help resolve all of these problems, the move towards a diet and lifestyle free from animal products is rapidly gaining momentum. A plant-based diet saves many animals from a life of suffering, reduces one’s personal ecological footprint, and can contribute to a fairer world. At the same time, plant-based eating is delicious and can provide a healthier and more varied diet.
Taste prejudices about plant-based diets
While a plant-based lifestyle is more beneficial to humans, animals, and our planet, for many people this is not necessarily sufficient motivation to choose a vegetarian or vegan diet – at least not if they have to sacrifice some of their favourite foods. Taste is an important factor in nutrition – during the course of our lives, we all develop certain habits and taste preferences. When people think about changing their eating habits, often the first thing they fear is the loss of foods that they have grown fond of – it is very difficult to let go of something that we have become accustomed to. As such, taste is a driving force behind food choices.
Taste is also socially constructed. One of the reasons people eat meat is because they have grown up in a society in which the majority of people do so and where it is widely perceived as being both natural and necessary. However, these are socially constructed concepts – rather than scientific truths – which are in turn reinforced by the acquired taste for animal products. The result is that plant-based nutrition is often considered to be less appetising than a diet centred on the consumption of animal products. A useful term for this phenomenon is ‘veg prejudice’.
A plant-based diet tastes good and offers a huge selection of delicious food
Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and other plant foods are often seen as side dishes, and, as such, are seldom considered a healthy, delicious, and substantial meal on their own. Therefore, it is of particular importance to raise awareness about the diverse flavours and nutritional richness of plant-based foods. A diet free from animal products is extremely versatile, while the transition towards more plant-based eating opens up a world of new and exciting culinary possibilities.
While taste is one of the reasons why people are reluctant to move towards a plant-based diet, it is also one of the reasons cited for doing so. A 2018 study done by the Mintel Group has shown that taste is the main reason why American adults eat plant-based proteins. More than half (52%) of respondents said they prefer plant protein to animal protein for taste reasons.1
Plant-based alternatives are growing in popularity
More and more consumers are questioning the consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs, and the effects that our diets have on animals, the environment, and our health. This is also reflected in the increasing demand for plant-based alternatives. Plant milks, for example, have been consumed for centuries in various cultures, but their popularity has skyrocketed over the past decade. Additionally, cruelty-free substitutes such as plant-based sausages and burgers are improving all the time and it is increasingly difficult to tell them apart from the ‘original’.
It has never been easier to cook delicious vegetable dishes
People who prefer to experiment in their own kitchen instead of buying animal-free ready meals are finding an increasing selection of great recipes in cookbooks and on blogs. Whether it’s gourmet food lovers, fans of fast food, or chefs who like to experiment – the colourful variety of plant-based cuisine has something for everyone. And while people are often afraid of giving up their favorite dishes, many traditional meals can be easily veganized with a few tweaks.
Gather your own taste experiences step by step
ProVeg supports people in making this sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle their own.
To do so, one does not have to change overnight to living a life that is 100% plant-based – just get started. Incremental changes to diet should be made as easy as possible, which is why ProVeg provides a great deal of information about the advantages of plant-based cooking, as well as tips for a change in diet.
The vegan food plate offers a simple guide for healthy vegan nutrition. The composition of the vegan plate corresponds to current scientific knowledge regarding the health effects of what we eat and drink. Join the worldwide plant-based movement and benefit from the numerous advantages of a healthy, climate-friendly, and compassionate diet.
ProVeg supports the availability of tasty plant-based alternatives
ProVeg is particularly committed to the theme of taste. On an individual level, we constantly show people new ways to enjoy plant-based food, point out healthy, cruelty-free alternatives, and support them in their implementation. Apart from raising awareness, we invest a lot of resources into creating a facilitating environment. On an institutional level, ProVeg vigorously promotes the development of great-tasting plant-based food by supporting and advising innovative companies that want to enrich the veggie market with their product. We work with caterers, chefs, businesses, and producers to improve the availability and quality of plant-based alternatives.