Going Meatless Is Good for the Waistline and the Wallet, and Saves $23 Per Week
Want to save cash? Go meatless. This is the finding of a new study published by Sous Vide Guy titled "Exploring Opinions on Plant-Based Eating." It takes a closer look at how Americans think of vegetarian and vegan diets, as well as personal meat consumption
The study took a deep dive into the diets of 1,072 people living in different parts of the country and found that, on average, meat eaters spend $23 more per week on groceries than do vegetarians, vegans, or those who don't eat meat for any reason.
The study's respondents ranged in age from 23 to 71. Of those, 993 were meat eaters, 35 were pescatarians, and 104 considered themselves meatless, either vegan or vegetarian.
Among the meat-eaters, the majority noted that they made a conscious decision to limit how much meat they consumed: "While over 26% of respondents said they don’t restrict their meat consumption, another 74% said they placed limitations on their meat consumption," according to the study. "Nearly 32% of Americans said they eat meat but occasionally or have plant-based meals, followed by over 18% who identified as “flexitarian” (a predominantly vegetarian diet with the occasional inclusion of meat). Roughly 6% identified as vegetarian and 3% as vegan."
Skip the Meat, Save the Cash
When it came to buying groceries, 27% of the meat-eaters said that they had cut their spending due to the rising costs of poultry, meat, and fish. After they were asked if they believed that a plant-based diet would be less costly, 25% of meat-eaters didn't believe it was a cheaper alternative, despite the numbers showing that on average the responding meatless shoppers paid 23 dollars less per week on groceries: Vegetarians and vegans spent an average of 102 dollars, where meat-eaters spent 125 dollars.
Participants in the study also gave their personal reasons for choosing a diet with meat over a plant-based one, citing reasons such as "I feel better when I eat meat several times a week," along with: "I want the complete nutrition offered by meat products" and also "healthy food is too expensive."
While plant-based products such as faux meats and prepared meals can ring in at a premium, vegan and vegetarian diets net out as less costly overall, due to the rising costs of beef, poultry and seafood. (Supply has become even more limited since the Caronavirus has caused the closing of some plants.) The findings in SVG's study echo a 2015 study published in the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition which found that, on average, vegetarians spent 750 dollars less per year on food than their meat-eating counterparts.
Plant-Based Consumerism Is Skyrocketing
While the top reason for not giving up meat was taste (nearly 24 percent), this survey reveals the promise of plant-forward, plant-leaning and flexitarian diets now and in the future. In fact just this week plant-based protein companies like Impossible and THIS (out of great Britain) have reported sales growing precipitously month over month. With nearly three-quarters of those surveyed confirming that they have reduced their meat consumption and choosing more plant-based options instead, it shows that the meatless movement is spreading around the country and the world, and is a mainstream movement, not limited to consumers who are strictly vegan or vegetarian.