Front page headline in today’s newspaper:- “Half of all food bought in UK is ultra-processed.”
It seems that 50.7% of UK household food purchases is processed food. Germany comes second with 46.2%. Then comes Ireland with 45.9%. Lots of northern countries have a high percentage. Mediterranean countries do much better: Spain 20.3%, France 14.2% (I wonder if there is a difference between the North and the South of the country), Greece 13.7%, Italy 13.4% and Portugal 10.2%. Malta bucks the trend with 27.6%. I wonder why?
It would be interesting to compare other aspects of lifestyle in all the countries. Does a longer lunch hour make it possible for people to go home and have a properly cooked meal? If so, who cooks it? There is also the we-love-local-food factor to be taken into account. If you are intent on keeping up local food traditions, I suspect you are more likely to buy fresh ingredients. It’s just a thought!
Headline on an inside page of today’s newspaper:- “Public gets taste for vegan food - as sales in supermarkets surge.”
It’s been a trendy thing to do: get involved in Veganuary. Also statistics show that more than half the adults in the UK are now adopting “vegan buying behaviour”, whatever that means! And the number of full time vegans in the UK has grown four-fold in the last ten years. How do they know this? Do people register themselves as vegan? And do you have to keep it up for a certain period of time before your are officially accepted?
Putting the two headlines together, I find myself wondering if vegans, especially the new Veganuary converts are buying vegan ready-meals. And then I found it in the article: a buyer for Waitrose said, “Shoppers had a big appetite for Veganuary, with sales of some of our vegan ready meals twice that of vegetarian dishes”. There you go!
I am reminded of our daughter, at the age of 13, deciding that she was vegetarian. This should have been easy as I cooked a lot of vegetarian dishes. But, no, being vegetarian meant living on Linda McCartney ready meals!
Odd fact: there was a 36% increase in sales of vegan-friendly haggises at Waitrose in January, presumably for the celebration of Burns Night. Now, I find the very concept of haggis quite repulsive and completely fail to understand why vegetarians, whether vegan of not, would want to eat a pretend haggis. Not even to jump on the bandwagon celebrating a poet from Scotland!
There was also a 3% increase in the sales of vegan wines at the Co-op. Presumably this increase was only small because some people don’t even realise that wine can be non-vegan (it’s something to do with animal products used in the clarification process, I think) or it just might be the difficulty of getting hold of it, even in the Co-op.
It doesn’t feature very prominently on the wine shelf in our local Co-op. But then gluten-free products are also hard to find there. Supply and demand I suppose!
That’s enough of that. Time to go and make a vegetarian tomato sauce, with a dash of non-vegan red wine, to accompany the non-vegan pasta (there’s egg in it) that we’ll be eating later!