13 May National Vegetarian Week
Do you want to be meat-free?
#NationalVegetarianWeek 14-20 May is the annual awareness-raising campaign promoting inspirational vegetarian food and the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle. It is setting out to prove that going veggie is surprisingly simple, and tasty.
National Vegetarian Week
Being vegetarian is not only good for the environment, animals and your own health and wellbeing, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to try delicious new foods. In fact, vegetarians enjoy every kind of world cuisine you can think of, including Greek, Mexican, Italian, Spanish, Indian and African amongst others.
“Growing crops to feed people rather than animals uses less land, water and other resources. The amount of land needed to produce food for someone following a typical meat-based diet could feed two and half vegetarians, or five vegans.”
A vegetarian diet can be every bit as varied and interesting as one that includes meat. In fact I would go as far to say that many vegetarians have a more diverse diet, due to breaking free from the traditional meal foundation of ‘meat and two veg’!
The health benefits of going veggie are well documented, and “Studies show that vegetarians are less likely than meat eaters to suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, many cancers and some other medical conditions. Vegetarians are also less likely to be obese and tend to have a lower average body mass index (BMI).”
Becoming a savvy vegetarian
There are a few food and drink items you might think are perfectly suitable for a vegetarian diet that actually have some non-veggie ingredients.
Some cheese contains animal rennet so check the packaging for indications that the product is suitable. Parmesan is never vegetarian as it must be made with calf rennet to carry that name. You can find out more about rennet and cheese by checking this link here.
A key ingredient of pesto is cheese and it’s often made with Parmesan. Some versions of pesto are vegetarian though, so a quick check of the jar is recommended.
Most brands of Worcestershire sauce are unsuitable for veggies as they contain anchovies. Check www.vegsocapproved.com for vegetarian versions.
Sweets with a gummy and chewy consistency will almost always use gelatine. If you love gummy sweets check your local health food store or supermarket as some do stock vegetarian versions.
Caesar salad dressing
Pre-made Caesar salad dressing available at supermarkets uses anchovies more often than not, and vegetarians never eat fish.
Non free-range eggs
Given that vegetarians prefer free-range, organic or higher welfare eggs, be aware that when you see egg as an ingredient it’s often from a caged hen.
If you want to be sure something is completely suitable for vegetarians, as you make the transition to vegetarian food you’ll find yourself more aware of products and ingredients that are not suitable for a meat-free diet
“Going vegetarian is a journey and you’ll learn more about food labels, ingredients and other aspects of vegetarianism as time passes.”
For more beautiful vegetarian recipes, check out my new book, which is available on Amazon, and all leading bookstores:
‘Mind Body Cleanse’ by Chris James (Penguin Vermilion, £14.99). Available from here: https://www.chrisjamesmindbody.com/product/mind-body-cleanse-by-chris-james/https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mind-Body-Cleanse-Plan-Re-Energise/dp/1785040804
Follow CJMB on social media: