The countdown to Christmas is now on, and according to new research, one in five Brits will be ditching traditional turkey in favour of a plant-based Christmas dinner.
Research commissioned by the UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers, a partnership between British and Irish mushroom farmers and producers, revealed that plant-based Christmas dinner options have soared with over 13 per cent of people reducing meat consumption over the festive season.
The news follows fresh data from Kantar, unveiling this week that vegan meals cost 40 per cent LESS than meat and fish dishes.
With green being the new gold this festive season, over HALF of respondents who are planning to cook a plant-based Christmas dinner will be doing so due to environmental and sustainability factors.
Other popular factors include health agenda (42 per cent) and animal welfare (33 per cent).
A standard Christmas dinner adds up to a whopping 16,010 food miles, whereas a plant-based Christmas dinner is in fact 22% less in miles overall.
Those who opt for a vegan Christmas dinner will also cause less harm to the environment, with research suggesting that eating plant-based could be the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on earth.
A recent report found that a plant-based Christmas dinner has half the emissions compared to a turkey Christmas dinner.
The study notes that a traditional dinner for a family of six emits 23.5kg of CO2 emissions, compared to a plant-based Christmas dinner that only emits 9.5kg.
To reduce milage on your festive feast, British and Irish farmers urge Brits to shop locally over the Christmas period.
When purchasing plant-based food such as mushrooms, it is important to check the country of origin (which can be found on front of pack) to ensure consumers are purchasing the local, freshest and highest quality produce available.
It has also been revealed that during the Christmas period alone 2 million turkeys, 5 million Christmas puddings and 74 million mince pies get wasted, causing almost 270,000 tons of food waste during the holiday season.
Plant-based main courses such as mushroom wellington have increased in popularity, overtaking beef and lamb at the Christmas table.
At supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, vegan centrepieces for main course Christmas dinner have even become bestsellers.
The number of Brits opting for plant-based meals has grown by a whopping 50 per cent in recent months, with further data showing that sales of meat alternatives are up 31 per cent.
Although turkey may be off the menu, many believe that still having dishes with a ‘meaty’ texture is important.
It has been revealed that MUSHROOMS will be the most popular vegetable used in Christmas dinner. With a meaty texture and versatile uses, mushrooms have increased dramatically in popularity this year.
Sales of mushrooms have risen by a dramatic 16 per cent, with the spike in purchases believed to be linked to their health benefits.