Evidence has shown that adhering to a so-called “healthy diet” costs $1.50 more per day compared to an unhealthy diet. Now, a recent study published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition has found that people who adopt a vegetarian diet save an average of $750 each year on groceries compared to people who eat meat.
Researchers from The Miriam Hospital and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank compared the costs of two seven-day meal plans: the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) My Plate meal plan, which includes meat, and a plant-based olive oil meal plan. They also determined serving sizes for vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
The USDA’s My Plate seven-day meal plan ended up costing $53.11 each week while the plant-based olive oil meal plan came out to $38.75. The vegetarian meal plan also offered around 25 more servings of vegetables, eight more servings of fruit, and 14 more servings of whole grains. By shopping economically, people adhering to a vegetarian diet can save $746.46 a year compared to meat-eaters.
If you aren’t too keen on giving up your insatiable appetite for meat, but do agree with certain aspects of a vegetarian diet, whether it be for the safety of animals, a healthier lifestyle, or monetary reasons, maybe Brian Kateman’s “reducetarianism” is for you. Allow him to explain.
Source: Flynn M, Schiff A. Economical Healthy Diets (2012): Including Lean Animal Protein Costs More Than Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2015.