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Veganuary and the Plant-Based Milk Controversy

It’s 2017 and Veganuary has just started. If you’ve not heard this term before, it’s a movement that started in the UK in 2014 that encourages people to go vegan for the month of January.

Not too dissimilar from Dry January which encourages people to abstain from alcohol for the entire month of January, Veganuary encourages people to refrain from eating or drinking any food or drinks that are made from animal products.

A variety of news outlets have questioned the health of the vegan initiative, including the BBC who asked the question ‘is following a vegan diet for a month worth it?’ If you live in London you’ll likely have seem some of the Veganuary advertising – it’s on billboards, tube carriages, and they even took over an entire tube station in Clapham.

At Food Rush HQ we went plant-based for a month in September. We’re still alive, and more importantly we now pay a lot more attention to including more fruits, vegetables and whole foods in our diets and reduce our meat and dairy where possible.

Supermarkets and specialist shops have a very wide variety of non-meat products and dairy alternatives which makes trying the vegan lifestyle relatively stress free. The dairy alternatives are getting so good that there’s been quite some backlash from the dairy industry in the US. Washington’s Top News have reported that twenty-five members of Congress are petitioning the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because they don’t think it should be called ‘milk’ at all.

Similarly, The LA Times reports on the very same news item and discusses the decline of the dairy industry and the notion that “Americans’ waning interest in drinking milk may be attributable, in part, to a better understanding of its provenance and production”. Consumers want better alternatives, that are better for the environment and animals.

It’s not too late, if you’ve ever fancied giving vegan a try, this is the month to do it! If you’re looking to kick the carbs as well as meat and dairy, you could double up the resolutions and try this slightly off the wall Vegan Atkins diet. Delicious.

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