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BREAKING NEWS: New Study Suggests That Sustainable Diets Are More Affordable in Western Countries

NOV 17, 2021

A common assumption about veganism, being a vegetarian, or even flexitarian diets is that they are significantly more expensive when compared to the average diet. How many times have you heard someone say the words “being vegan is expensive”? We’ll take a guess: a lot. And that is completely understandable!

When a majority of people think of sustainable diets such as veganism, it’s immediately associated with expensive alternative meats, cheeses, and dairy milks. Of course, it’s easy to assume that these food options will hurt our bank accounts.

DG Brownies are suitable for vegans, and are presented in recyclable packaging

Surprisingly, a study conducted by the University of Oxford has released information which challenges the popular beliefs about sustainable diets. This study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, highlights the cost of healthy and sustainable diets-in countries such as the UK and US- are 22-34% lower than that of “regular” diets. This means that following such dietary patterns could actually lower your food bill by 33%.

The study compared food prices in 150 different countries by using food prices from the World Bank’s International Comparison Program. Notably, the research was focused on whole foods rather than the meat and dairy replacements that are commonly associated with vegan and vegetarian diets. The diets were then ranked according to their cost. Shockingly, in high-income countries, veganism was found to be the least costly diet, followed by vegetarianism and then flexitarianism!

The World Bank’s International Comparison Program

In comparison, lower-income countries, such as countries in the region of sub-Saharan Africa, witnessed higher costs associated with sustainable diets compared to their regular eating patterns. What this highlights is the need to make healthy and sustainable diets more affordable in these countries, which the study suggests could be possible within the next ten years.

This change is important, as vegan diets have been shown to reduce risks of cardiovascular disease and improve overall health, while also fighting against climate change.

Our Recycle With DG Scheme aims to achieve a more sustainable ecosystem

What does this study suggest for those in higher-income countries, such as the UK? Adopting a vegan, vegetarian, or even a flexitarian diet may not just improve health, but also reduce food costs significantly. However, this comes with a caveat: in order for the diet to be cheaper and healthier, it must consist of primarily whole foods, rather than heavily processed meat substitutes.

You might ask, where would you get your protein from? It’s usually the meat substitutes, such as burger patties and sausages, that contain high amounts of protein, right? Actually, you have tons of other options! Quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, chia seeds, and even asparagus contain significant amounts of protein. Just ensure that your diet is well-balanced, and you’ll be good to go!

The bottom line for people in Western countries: your heart, wallet, and planet will thank you if you adopt a more sustainable diet.


Written by Yasmeen Jabri

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