In the third column of the year for Cost Sector Catering magazine our Registered Dietitian Ruth Smith explores vegetarian and flexitarian diets.
See the full article below or view online in the June edition here.
Greater choice for vegetarians
Anglia Crown’s company Dietitian, Ruth Smith, explores vegetarian and flexitarian diets
It is estimated that more than 1.2 million people in the UK are vegetarian, equating to around 2% of the population.
More people are increasingly turning to a vegetarian diet, with meat-free dishes regularly being requested within the NHS.
Around 150,000 vegetarians are thought to be of retirement age, according to Vegetarian for Life, the charity supporting older vegetarians and vegans. It estimates 6,500 people following those diets live in care homes.
Meat-free sales were valued at roughly £607 million in 2012, according to Mintel’s ‘Meat-Free Foods’ UK Report, which shows that there is significant consumer demand for meat free meals outside of foodservice.
At Anglia Crown, we have a wide selection of vegetarian dishes in both our core Crown Choice range and our award-winning Crown Advantage with Smartpark technology frozen range.
Dishes are inspired by international cuisines including popular Italian style meals such as Quorn™ tomato pasta and penne pasta with mushroom, leek and cheese sauce, as well as pan-Asian and Indian meals from sweet and sour Quorn to creamy lentil, tomato and cauliflower daal.
There are also several vegetarian takes on traditional British meals including a cottage pie made with Quorn and cheesy mash, chunky warming vegetable casserole with dumpling and a vegetable hot pot.
In addition, we produce nine vegetarian soups and more than 60 desserts to ensure vegetarians have access to a tempting three-course meal.
Being in hospital can be a stressful time, so the last thing people want to worry about is whether there will be suitable options for their diet, preferences and needs.
Our vegetarian dishes meet or exceed energy and protein levels to allow for nutritionally compliant menus with the British Dietetic Association’s Nutrition and Hydration Digest.
In recent years, there has been a rise in people opting for a flexitarian diet, where meat eaters reduce their meat consumption. This can be for reasons including health, animal welfare and environmental factors, while movements such as Meat Free Mondays continue to grow in popularity. The initiative encourages people to go meat free one day a week for the benefit of our planet and health.
Our vegetarian dishes are versatile and suitable for meat eaters as well as vegetarians. We use vegetarian cheese in our dishes and have a wide range of non-cheese vegetarian dishes to satisfy consumers’ requirements.
At Anglia Crown, we continually aim to support the foodservice industry to ensure all hospital patients have access to quality meals, which are nutritious, tasty and appetising whatever their religious, cultural or dietary requirements may be.
Ruth Smith is a Registered Dietitian and works for award-winning prepared meal manufacturer Anglia Crown. She is also secretary for the Food Services Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association (BDA).