Is a Plant-Rich diet the best for us and the planet?
In a society that has seen the rise and fall of countless Fad diets, it is unsurprising that the term ‘Flexitarian’ may be greeted with rolling eyes. The title Flexitarian is perhaps a disservice to the concept, giving connotations of a copout rather than a sustainable attitude. In fact it encourages choice, abundance over exclusion and allows us to ‘crowd-out’ rather than restrict. We choose to rephrase as ‘Plant-Rich’.
The plant-rich approach of eating a predominately vegetarian diet alongside well sourced meat and fish, otherwise called the 80/20, promotes better health for us and the Planet. The enjoyment of vegetarian food has been on the rise over the last decade, restaurants historically offered little more than a miserable nut roast, while now it is likely not vegetarians alone who enjoy inspired plant-based meals when eating out or cooking at home..
Despite our change in preferences, the food industry is still fundamentally broken. Health issues are skyrocketing, social media is supercharging bad diets, and often it seems like our entire effort towards food sustainability is spent recreating burgers out of mushrooms.
Meanwhile, junk food still reins, since it is still the most convenient option and the world still loves its taste. No one likes to admit it, but the statistics prove that, really, we love the taste of things that are bad for us and bad for the planet. Nowhere is this more true than the UK, the biggest consumer of junk food in Europe and the fourth largest in the world.
Rarely do we discuss the issue at its root: our own individual tastes and choices. This is what we’re tackling at Lune + Wild, by helping humans develop their palates from the very beginning. Education, experience and taste can drive each of us towards the right decision, which is why at Lune + Wild we obsess over flavour and quality produce, to create positive experiences with real, nutritious foods.
Our solution starts with science. Mothers’ milk is naturally high in sugar and umami, so our innate love of sweet flavours is necessary and useful. But after milk, there’s a danger we don’t graduate to more complex tastes. Research shows that introducing a wide array of bitter flavours early on is best for developing adventurous and sophisticated palates, and we’ve built a menu that provides the perfect support for this previously under-appreciated stage. The majority of shop-bought baby purees have high fruit content and ultra-smooth textures, which delay palate and oral motor skill development. With expert guidance from Paediatric Dietitians, driven by the latest research, our menu does the opposite.
In our plant-rich approach, our recipes combine vegetables, grains and legumes in a way that reflects the way we enjoy eating as adults. This encourages a preference for deliciousandnutritious food and helps bridge the gap between ‘baby food’ and ‘family food’. Rather than focusing on ‘not dogs’ and fake chicken, we believe good quality plant food should be celebrated and enjoyed for what it is. Our baby meals are specially designed to provide all the essential nutrients needed from 6+ months, ensuring they are a source of non-heim iron and protein as well as Vitamin C to aid absorption. We also realise that there is a lot of benefit from good quality, high welfare meat and we are proud to work with The Haye Farm, who supply us excellent organic lamb and chicken. By introducing meat and fish to young ones, they are getting vital nutrients and expanding their acceptance of a range of texture and taste. Ultimately it is a parent’s choice how they decide to raise their child, at Lune + Wild our job is to provide the best tools we can to support and we believe that Plant-Rich is a great place to start.