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  • Writer's pictureYimin Xu

Eating plant-based: really important but crazy difficult to enjoy?

Plantwise app is now live on Apple App Store to help you with plant-based nutrition and meal planning.


We believe that embracing a primarily plant-based lifestyle presents the single biggest opportunity to optimise our health and environmental impact. However, while the world is more motivated than ever to eat more plant-based, we understand it is not always easy to make this transition.


Sustainability, health, and hunger


To just stay on track for the 2050 net-zero emission target of COP26, we need to reduce our meat consumption by 30% in the next 10 years[1]. This is because meat accounts for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from food production[2], which in turn contributes to 37% of the global emissions[3].


It turns out that what’s better for the planet is also better for our own health. The EAT-Lancet Commission calculates that a balanced plant-based diet can prevent up to 11.6 million premature adult death per year[4] from health issues. And to avoid further food shortages while feeding the planet’s projected 10 billion people by 2050, adopting a mostly plant-based diet will be completely necessary.

Easier said than done…


According to Finder UK, 14% of UK adults (7.2 million) now follow a meat-free diet[5]. Among them, Gen Z leads the way with 25% being already meat-free. While a further 8.8 million Brits also “plan to go meat-free” in 2022, just “2% of those who said they would give up meat in 2021 actually did so”. This gap highlights just how difficult it is to make this lifestyle change.


We have spoken with hundreds of potential customers around the world about eating plant-based. The combination of perceived high costs, inaccessibility, nutrition concerns, poorer tastes, as well as social pressure from family and friends can really deter people from trying:


"Plant-based foods are really expensive and are not always available in my supermarket".

"I need a lot of protein for my workouts which I can't get on a plant-based diet".

"Plant-based food just tastes bland and does not fill me up".


Even people who do take the plunge often struggle. While plant-based eating has become easier in the past 10 years, we meet many ex-vegans who quit because of the daily practical challenges.


What could we do?


In reality, most of the concerns people have can be solved by embracing the right balance of plant-based whole foods. Plant-based whole foods include whole grains (brown rice, wholemeal pasta etc), fruits and vegetables, legumes (beans, chickpeas, tofu), nuts, and seeds. Plant-based whole foods can easily provide adequate nutrition for even the most advanced athletes in the world. For example, Novak Djokovic has long credited his tennis success to his primarily whole-food plant-based diet (here’s a Youtube video of him breaking down his diet). Plant-based whole foods are also incredibly cheap and flavourful. You can easily find them in a local supermarket, without ever needing the fake meats.


We do also believe that our lifestyle changes are much more sustainable if we make them incrementally over time, starting with small steps. This could be trying to cook just one or two plant-based meals a week. The transition becomes much more manageable, without the guilt of failing a full-on diet. Once you notice how much better you feel right after a whole-food plant-based meal, you will want to eat it more frequently anyway.


If you are not sure where to start, we have built Plantwise to break down what makes a plant-based meal healthy and tasty but also extremely affordable. There are over 2000 smart food pairing ideas covering aromas and nutrition, backed by science. From artichokes to olives, shiitake mushrooms, and red cabbage, our aromatic pairings for “aubergine” (or "eggplant") show you what other ingredients would pair aromatically together. If you need more protein or iron, you could easily track your intake and find the best foods on our app too.


Please check out the Plantwise app today on the Apple App Store. It has worked for many customers and ourselves personally. We would love to have you try it too.



References: [1] https://www.nationalfoodstrategy.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/National-Food-Strategy-Chapter-16.pdf [2] https://www.nature.com/articles/s43016-021-00358-x.epdf?sharing_token=VjTavqZuCn0No-xHoySpANRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0P5hJzOufiwVEu0osAOLG2L7YmizCBD0QPnXzpZvdgVd21n-7QUfEf8uD-CKplQ9ExzxDMLCmm-q527Wp8JIzM_Egm9B2aZIBUMO-vI9_80d1Y0jEMYHXFqa8GpUwxXkeJwiYfoJl3arDj3njdrwz0pFQy2ZBalLcHviN0deS-DDXb3y_kJq1iZeS-CsxtN7yuxBC9fRzqyhzJLSyI00OevNnW8ciVtNNPfbpJIoNB2U_A77O0OK9GUMSlu0YfbkpaM4nrSHNarIE39Rnr0k7oY&tracking_referrer=www.theguardian.com [3] https://www.ipcc.ch/srccl/chapter/chapter-5/ [4] https://eatforum.org/content/uploads/2019/07/EAT-Lancet_Commission_Summary_Report.pdf [5] https://www.finder.com/uk/uk-diet-trends

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