06 | Mar | 13

Richard Johnson

Step On!

The horse meat scandal has made a lot of us look again at vegetarian food. And, mercifully, we’ve found more than stir fry and nut loaf. Just ask the Happy Mondays, 808 State and The Farm, who are headlining at VegfestUK’s tenth birthday party in Bristol on Saturday May 25. They’ve all been known to partake of a crudite. Whether it’s down to cost, health, animal welfare, environmental factors, or, more recently, the labelling and contamination concerns, the meat-free market is continuing to grow. And we’re not twisting your melons, man.

“Exciting, delicious and nutritious – good vegan-friendly food appeals to just about any customer, which is a key reason why the meat-free sector is so dynamic,” says Paul Philbrow, trademark and business development officer at The Vegan Society, which will once again be hosting a pavilion at the Natural Food Show in London’s Olympia this April. He continues: “Over half of British shoppers now consciously choose meat-free meals.  The sector is innovating with inspiring world cuisines, and healthy, sustainable fruits and vegetables will find increasingly wide and diverse audiences in the years to come.”

“More and more people are finally realising time is running out” warns vegan food writer and campaigner Tony Bishop-Weston, who will be sharing his views at the Natural Food Kitchen. “Health is deteriorating, the planet is facing catastrophe, and meat manufacturers are having to either get more chemically ingenious, or take shortcuts that result in health risks to keep the price down.” The food industry needs to change the way it operates, Bishop-Weston explains:  “If we want to survive on this planet we really don’t now have a choice, we must eat significantly more plant foods.  Even McDonald’s and KFC are looking at how they can incorporate new meat-free alternatives into their main products. Any new UK legislation to counteract the horse meat fiasco will further increase costs, which will make meat free even more tempting for shareholders.”

The Natural Food Show, which includes two days of live cookery demonstrations in the Natural Food Kitchen, will take place on 7-8 April 2013 at Olympia London.