Veganuary is getting bigger every year, and any campaign that gets tens of thousands of people to eat more plants is a winner. It's so big that supermarkets and food brands are focusing their advertising at this time of year on their vegan offering, as well as releasing new products especially for it and dedicating sections of their shops to plant-based food and promotions.
However, we seem to be missing the veg in so much of this. We need to put the veg back into Veganaury! Vegan food needn't be complicated or reliant on expensive meat and dairy alternatives; the term 'plant-based' says it all. There are myriad incredible recipes that can be made with just plants in their purest form, using vegetables, fruit, salad, herbs, spices, pulses, legumes, grains, nuts and more.
Of course, for those completely new to meat-free eating, meat and dairy replacements can be appealing as they make it easier think of what to cook, i.e. swapping a burger for a meat free burger, but they are often heavily processed and packaging heavy, so not a great alternative to rely on daily, and don't compare nutrition wise either.
There are also concerns around the lack of transparency, high food miles and carbon footprint of some of these processed foods. We know the world is warming and eating a diet based on less animal products is a good way to cut your impact, but only if you're doing it the right way.
Let's take it back to basics and emphasise the veg in Veganuary. Share your favourite wholefood, plant-based meal in the comments (include where others can find a recipe for it too, if you know of a good tried and tested one) to give other people some ideas. Who's with us?