As of August in The Netherlands, plant-based meat now costs less than animal meat. This is massive news for those interested in more plant-based options in the United States.
For years, the cost of plant-based proteins was a huge obstacle for people looking to go entirely plant-based or to adopt more of these foods into their diet. The price has been an obstacle to adoption into people’s diets and even to more people trying plant-based meats. Why, we reason, would we even consider a protein source we can’t afford?
The three types of diets in which plant-based food is important are vegan, vegetarian and “flexitarian” diets. The easiest way to imagine a flexitarian diet is a traditional American diet in which plant-based foods are used in varying degrees to replace animal proteins. Flexitarian diets can be a great entry point to becoming a vegetarian or a vegan, but they can also be a way for many people to adopt a healthier diet for themselves and the planet and stick to it for years.
But for years, the cost of plant-based meats has been prohibitive for people in the United States. Lauren Scardella, a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer, observed: “For many people who have been deeply economically impacted by the pandemic and now inflation, lower-priced plant-based meat alternatives can be a way to help stretch their food dollars. This can make a big difference for families.”
This news follows a 2021 Oxford University study highlighting the declining costs of a plant-based diet. Prices have declined steadily, encouraging more people to try these alternate protein sources, gradually work them into their diet and find whatever balance works for them between actual and plant-based meats.
As someone whose diet is pretty flexitarian, I was on a plant-based diet most of the time I lived in Europe. The cost of plant-based proteins was notably higher then, but a huge difference between Berlin and, say, Chicago was the massive variety of plant-based foods. Not just in bio/organic stores but even in large mainstream grocery stores.
A professional hockey goaltender, Kasimir Kaskisuo, is a popular vegan YouTuber. A former National Hockey League player now competing in the Swedish Hockey League, he makes videos that often show the plant-based options he finds at grocery stores in Europe and the vegan meals the team prepares for him.
There was also an excellent YouTube video about how some members of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans are plant-based dieters and what this has done for their performance and longevity. The world’s most competitive athletes are adopting plant-based diets.
Having more plant-based meat available in the United States at lower prices will give more people the ability to try new diets that are better for them and the planet.
Aron Solomon is the chief legal analyst for Today’s Esquire. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.