As if being vegan and vegetarian isn't sometimes difficult enough, Canada's Food Guide, released earlier this year, perhaps made it slightly more complicated for those who've chosen to live a plant-based lifestyle. According to some reports, vegan living, and the food guide more specifically, are just too expensive for many Canadians.
Canada's new Food Guide features fruit-and-vegetable focused diet recommendations, which are intended as a guide for all Canadians to follow. Based on pricing forecasts, however, the predominantly herbivore Canadian Food Guide might price out low-income families and at-risk populations.
According to the Canadian Food Guide Price Report, the price of fruits and vegetable is set to increase by between 4% and 6% just this year alone, with prices continuing to rise throughout the coming years due to the prevalence of plant-based lifestyles among young Canadians. This means that the total average price of food costs will increase by $411 per year.
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TL;DR Canada's new Food Guide could price out low-income families and individuals across the country because the cost of fruits and vegetables is expected to skyrocket. This could spell doom for many who've chosen a plant-based lifestyle.
The Canadian Food Guide Price Report is released every year to forecast food pricing, to survey the population on their food habits, and to outline a recommended diet plan for all Canadians. As one of the most popular sources of nutritional information amongst Canadians, the Food Guide has a huge impact on how markets and consumers choose their food.
For the first time ever, the Price Report is forecasting a price decrease of up to 3% in the meat and seafood market because of the growing numbers of vegans and vegetarians in Canada. On the other hand, the price of fruits and vegetables is rising by up to 6%.
This is all good news for carnivores, but bad news for vegans. Well, how about low-income families and at-risk populations? Crucially, the poorest populations in Canada rely on a reasonably priced market for fresh food and produce to sustain them. According to CTV, as many as 26% of Canadians are skeptical of the "healthy" diet set out in the Food Guide because of its high price.
This drastic increase in price could potentially destroy one's ability to adequately nourish their family according to the parameters set by Canada's Food Guide.
The total yearly food cost for the average Canadian will be $12,157, an increase of $411 since 2018. Not to blame the vegans, but this huge increase is directly correlated to the rise in plant-based lifestyles, according to the report.
The report also cites the rise of the legal cannabis market, the dissolution of NAFTA, more diverse grocery purchasing options, and a new awareness of price fixing in certain industries as reasons for the increase.
Furthermore, the report indicates that climate change, geopolitical tensions, inflation, and energy costs as some of the main drivers of increased food costs in Canada for 2019 and beyond. Yeah, no kidding.
Specific forecasts for Quebec have projected that pricing will be consistent in grocery stores, but the price of fruits and vegetables will rise considerably in the coming years to catch up with inflation rates and the ever-changing environment.
What does this all mean for vegans? If you're one of those wealthy vegans, absolutely nothing. Keep on keeping on.
If you're like most of us, on the wrong side of your 20s and fighting off numerous debts, becoming vegan might not be the best choice for you right now. And yes, I understand meat is murder but isn't eating something better than potentially eating nothing?
Despite the admission from the authors of Canada's Food Guide that it isn't without many flaws and variations, one thing that's certain is the price of food, especially for followers of a plant-based diet, will increase exponentially in the coming years.
Please be aware of any sudden increases in food price and feel free to share your grocery misadventures with MTL Blog. And please, try to subscribe to proper nutritional guidelines for yourself and don't just follow fads and trends.