It’s no secret I’m a committed omnivore. The idea of restricting or eliminating any food is against my general eating philosophy – a little bit of everything and not too much of anything.
But there’s a growing trend among Kiwis towards adopting what we might call special diets.
Whether we’re going gluten free or paleo or low carb, more and more of us are choosing to restrict our diets in some way. Reasons are varied, but usually health related.
One increasingly popular way of eating for health and ethical reasons is veganism. Vegans don’t eat, wear or use anything that comes from an animal – no meat, fish, eggs, dairy or honey; no leather, silk or wool, or cosmetics tested on animals. It’s usually out of concern for animal welfare and environmental impact.
These are valid concerns. Industrialised farming systems and a growing world population have compromised animal welfare and caused hugely negative environmental effects. The growing of plant foods, it could easily be argued, is much gentler on our planet.
There are also undoubtedly health benefits to eating a plant-only diet. Research shows a well-planned vegan diet can be exceptionally healthy, bringing lowered risk of many chronic diseases.