The good seed for a plant-based diet
More than 50 percent of Australians are making the effort to reduce their consumption of meat and join the 1.2 million Australians who are already eating a plant-based diet, according to research from Australian plant-based food producer Mt. Elephant. The most common motivation for those looking to reduce their meat consumption is for health reasons, with three in four trying to eat less meat because they believe it’s better for them.
The research, conducted by YouGov, also found almost half (48%) of surveyed Australians say they’re trying to eat less meat for environmental reasons. Meanwhile, more than a third (38%) say that they’re trying to cut down on meat in order to protect animals. Those more likely to be eating a plant-based diet include those with children at home (57%), those working (55%) and those living in one of the five major capital cities (54%).
Finding the right plant-based protein
Of those trying to eat less meat, half say they find it difficult to find non-meat-based foods that are high enough in protein. This seems to be a particular challenge for parents. Although Australians with children under 18 at home are more likely to be making the effort to eat less meat, they’re also more likely to find it difficult to find the right plant-based foods that are high in protein than Australians without children at home.
“It’s clear Australians, in particular parents, are trying to improve their health and lifestyle by reducing their consumption of meat and turning to plant-based substitutes as an alternative,” says Neale Joseph, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Australian Primary Hemp, parent brand of Mt. Elephant. “However, kids are notoriously fussy, so finding quick and tasty substitutes will make it easier for parents to make the switch.”
Hemp as a solution
Many Australians remain unaware of the benefits of hemp as a nutritious food. According to Mt. Elephant’s research, when asked to consider hemp as a plant-based protein alternative, 36 percent of Australians say that they’ve heard of hemp but don’t know anything about it, while a further seven percent say they’d never heard of hemp. Of those who claim to have some knowledge of hemp, 26 percent wrongly believe it’s the same as cannabis, 20 percent think it’s the same as CBD (cannabinoids) and 17 percent think it’s illegal.
The whole package
Alongside superfoods such as buckwheat flour, maca and lucuma, one of the key ingredients of Mt. Elephant’s new range of plant-based bars, baking mixes and “mylks” is Australian grown and sown hemp. This seed is one of a few plant-based sources to contain:
1. The ideal 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids – ideal for a healthy diet.
2. The powerful essential fatty acid GLA (gamma linolenic acid).
3. Amino acids, including those not produced by the body.
4. An abundance of plant protein and fibre.
5. A range of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamins B1 and B3.
“Plant-based alternatives and products that make living healthily and sustainably more convenient are set to skyrocket,” says Joseph. “Hemp can play a huge role in providing a protein-rich substitute for a plant-based diet.”
Vegan-friendly and free from gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar and additives, Mt. Elephant’s range includes bread, pancake and protein ball mixes, ready-to-eat bars and hemp and oat milk. You can find them at mtelephant.com.au or in Woolworths and Coles from July.