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Why are more people looking for Vegan food due to the Covid-19 Pandemic?

16 Sep 2020

Whatever your beliefs or food preferences are, lockdown and Covid 19 has definitely affected most people’s food habits and diets in one way or another. Whether this has been to cooking more meals at home, trying out organic products, baking more, reading up on plant based options and incorporating more vegetables into their diets, being healthier, for some putting on weight during lockdown followed by summer diets, and whole array of other alternatives, 2020 has changed our food palates in some form. Perhaps one of the more surprising shifts, is the movement for many towards a more plant-based diet, or rather to a more ‘meat-less’ diet. In a study carried out by the UK based charity ‘Veganuary’, results showed that nearly a third of people are eating more vegan food due to the pandemic. 

 

 

Interestingly, the study showed that 41% of participants were eating less meat due to the connection between animal agriculture and pandemics, while 43% said they had more time to cook. 

It’s no secret that animal agriculture is associated as one of the biggest contributors to Global Warming. Greta Thunberg, a young vegan activist against climate change, travelled all the way to America this year on a boat in order to speak to politicians from around the globe about climate change and imploring them to make a difference. Documentaries on Netflix and YouTube, such as the recent Arnold Schwarzenegger’ ‘The Game-Changers’ and others like ‘Cowspiracy’, ‘Forks Over Knives’ and ‘Earthlings’ have all been creating a stir and for many, lockdown was the time to watch these. In the light of a global pandemic and countless deaths, most have felt the need to make a difference. And what easier way to start than on one’s own plate?  

 

 

With regards to specifically our experience in Seashells Healthy Living Vegan Restaurant, we reopened after the Cyprus two-month lockdown and various other restrictions in place, on the 28th May 2020.  It is fair to say that our clients are mainly non-vegans, being those who are curious, escorting vegan friends or in some way flexitarian, and this year we welcomed many guests looking for a healthier lifestyle. The healthier lifestyle was not just for themselves and their bodies, a common sense approach to guarding oneself from viruses, but also a healthier approach for the environment. People got used to clean air, birds singing and green hills, and rightly so they wanted that to stay as a new norm.  

 

 

Sustainability for many is becoming a must, not an option. 2020 is possibly the first year we had so many guests checking that our packing was eco-friendly, actively using our recycle bins and booking with us for our vegan, sustainable menu. Young people in Cyprus are going green, finally.  

‘We want to eat healthier food and lower our risk of catching anything’ stated one customer from Limassol, while another guest from the UK booked a table with his whole family after his niece followed me on social media with my Cook Vegan Facebook group. ‘We loved the food and were so surprised that we actually felt really full and satisfied after the meal, while not being bloated’, she stated. 

If Covid 19 has taught us anything, one very important lesson has been the importance of family time and good friends. In lockdown, many family’s lives revolved around what they were going to eat next and they had more time to all sit together around a table. On a personal level, birthdays or anniversaries that fell during lockdown were some of our highlights of the year, being able to dress up at home and have some great food and meal preparation all together. This has stayed with many well after lockdown, and restaurant outings to outdoor venues has been a priority for many; safe venues with good, healthy food with a low carbon footprint. 

We all want to make sure where we are going follows all Covid 19 protocols and that the staff are as safe and careful as humanely possible. Being an outdoor beach restaurant, we have been the ideal choice for many and luckily, we have ample room to space the tables at a wide distance from each other. 

Our best sellers have been the famous Beyond Burger made with our signature twist, Mediterranean Falafel Bowl, Moving Mountain Hot dog decorated with organic popcorn, and our pastas, both for kids and adults alike!  Usually in Cyprus, desserts by the beach are less tempting due to the heat, but our light and raw Tartufo Chocolate Ball, along with our delicious vegan, raw cheesecake and Chocolate Surprise have been winners for sure!

We hope that this pandemic will end soon, but in its wake, that a healthier, happier, and more conscientious world will emerge from it. This is certainly the trend we have been seeing and so we will cheers to that. 

Stay safe everyone and ‘Cook Vegan’! 😊 

Written by our Managing Director, Farah Shammas


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