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20% of Brits are embracing a plant-based Christmas dinner this year

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 25 December 2020

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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According to new research, one in five Brits will be ditching traditional turkey in favour of a plant-based Christmas dinner.

Research commissioned by the UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers, a partnership between British and Irish mushroom farmers and producers, revealed that plant-based Christmas dinner options have soared, with over 13% of respondents reducing meat consumption over the festive season.

The news follows new data from Kantar, which revealed vegan meals cost 40% less than meat and fish dishes.

Why go vegan?

With green the new gold this festive season, over half of respondents who are planning to cook a plant-based Christmas dinner will be doing so due to environmental and sustainability factors.

Other popular factors include health (42%) and animal welfare (33%).

A standard Christmas dinner adds up to a whopping 16,010 food miles, whereas a plant-based Christmas dinner is in fact 22% less in miles overall.

Those who opt for a vegan Christmas dinner will also cause less harm to the environment, with research suggesting that eating plant-based could be the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact.

A recent report found that a plant-based Christmas dinner has half the emissions of a turkey Christmas dinner.

The study notes that a traditional dinner for a family of six emits 23.5kg of CO2 emissions, compared to a plant-based Christmas dinner that only emits 9.5kg.

Shop local

To reduce milage on your festive feast, British and Irish farmers urge Brits to shop locally over the Christmas period.

When purchasing plant-based food such as mushrooms, it is important to check the country of origin (which can be found on front of pack) to ensure consumers are purchasing the local, freshest and highest quality produce available.

It has also been revealed that during the Christmas period alone 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies get wasted, causing almost 270,000 tons of food waste during the holiday season.

Mushrooms for meat

The number of Brits opting for plant-based meals has grown by a whopping 50% in recent months, with further data showing that sales of meat alternatives are up 31%.

Plant-based main courses such as mushroom wellington have increased in popularity, overtaking beef and lamb at the Christmas table.

At supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, vegan centrepieces for main course Christmas dinner have even become bestsellers.

Although turkey may be off the menu, many believe that still having dishes with a ‘meaty’ texture is important.

It has been revealed that mushrooms will be the most popular vegetable used in Christmas dinner. With a meaty texture and versatile uses, mushrooms have increased dramatically in popularity this year.

Sales of mushrooms have risen by a dramatic 16%, with the spike in purchases believed to be linked to their health benefits. 

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