Canadian Study Finds Plant-Based Diets More Cost Effective

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A recently conducted study, conducted by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph in Canada has shown that a family of four will save on average 6.8 per cent on their annual grocery bill, if they prepare food at home and adopt a plant-based diet.

The new Canadian food guide focuses on increased consumption of fruits and vegetables whilst emphasizing a preference for plant-based proteins from beans and peas. Whilst it is true that some meat alternatives can rival the cost of meat, the innovations and technologies from the vegan sector are rapidly becoming mainstream, and are expected to create more affordable options as demand and supply increase.

The study was conducted over two days in February 2019. It surveyed 1,071 people across the country, including Québec, in both English and French.

Research assistant and team member Brenda Nyambura Wambui said of the study: “What surprised me most was that the increase in portion sizes of fruits and vegetables in the new guide did not make the average plate more expensive, because the current prices of meats and alternatives are higher than fruits and veggies, the new food guide actually recommends a cheaper Canadian diet.

The study also found that Canadians today are less likely to look to the food guide for nutrition advice, Dr Simon Somogyi, Arrell Chair in the Business of Food at the University of Guelph stated: “We also see that Gen Z and Millennial consumers get much of their food information from food bloggers and celebrities. Perhaps Health Canada needs to engage with social media influencers and celebrities to get the message of the new Food Guide out to a younger demographic.”

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