A new food fad seems to be on the horizon every couple of months, and whether it’s a new diet we all HAVE to try; think Paleo, Primal, Pescatarian or Flexitarian, a new health food product we didn’t know we couldn’t live without (and now we can only survive with) like; Acai, Juice/Soup Cleanses and Kombucha, or some new ridiculously indulgent fusion food item such as; Cronuts or (it’s not inappropriate to say “and” here and have both…) Freakshakes, it seems we’re destined to a life of food fads that come and go as quickly as the seasons/we change our underwear.
Cue the “hottest food trend of 2018”
Put simply, the Vegan Diet consists of fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; excludes or minimises animal products such as meat and dairy and takes a clean approach to ingredients in order to limit or eliminate refined/processed ingredients.
Despite the hype and the temporary rise to fame that we tend to experience with these “hot food trends”, the Vegan Movement is bringing with it some incredibly interesting swagger especially in the Australian Market;
- Australia is the third fastest growing market in the world for vegan foods, with the value of vegan-labelled food mushrooming from $135.9m in 2015 to $153m in 2016 [source: research by Euromonitors International]
- Australians eating a mainly vegetarian diet has risen by over 23 per cent in the last four years [source: research by Roy Morgan]
- As of March 2016, 2.1 million people living in Australia said they ate a complete or mainly vegetarian diet. That makes up 11.2 per cent of the population [source: reasearch by Roy Morgan]
To top it off, we’re seeing some evolution of menu offerings in regards to making Vegan specific foods available at all levels of the food service space;
Want Burgers? Try Soul Burger in Sydney
Sunday Brunch? Try The Little Shop of Plenty in Perth
Pizza? Try Red Sparrow in Melbourne
Japanese? Try Ginzamiyako in Adelaide
ALL the baked goods? Try Veganyumm Dessert Bakehouse in Brisbane
Last, but certainly not least, the first 100% plant-based hotel restaurant in Australia, Alibi, will be opening at the Ovolo Hotel in Wooloomooloo, Sydney, this month, further validation that this is not another food trend to simply scoff at?
So, with so much validation from the market from consumers and businesses is this really a trend or something more?
Over the past 5 years, there has been a major shift in consciousness surrounding food, consumption, health and how we impact the environment and it appears the Vegan Diet is a vehicle that is allowing people to live these values.
Regardless of your personal food values, there are several positive attributes of the Vegan approach;
- Ethical – helping to highlight/improve ethical treatment of and use of animals
- Health – increases consumption of fresh whole foods, reduces processed and high sugar ingredients, aids in weight loss, can reduce the risk of serious illness
- Sustainability – helping to reduce environmental impact (production/resources/waste)
- Financial – lower cost to maintain a vegan diet vs. a diet that includes meat
If you’re interested in exploring the diet/lifestyle, it is always important to note however, that in removing certain ingredients/food groups from your diet there can be a risk of deficiencies, a main criticism of the Vegan Diet, so ensure you communicate and consider the opinions of medical and health practitioners that can help you with the trial or transition.
Alternatively, if you are already living a Vegan Lifestyle, there is a much greater recognition and support of your requirements above and beyond the humble bowl of steamed veggies or a grilled mushroom when you choose to eat out. And, although it’s not there yet, the evolution of the food space is positive and encouraging!
Ultimately, at Ufoodi, we believe that the food we eat and the way we choose to eat it (hot new trends or otherwise), should be about enjoying what you eat, playing fair and delicious and feeding your belly and your soul.
Here’s to what’s to come, this is just the Veganning!