Plant-Based: Going Meatless Gains Major Momentum

Shifting your eating to less meat consumption or none at all is no longer just a trend - the healthy way of eating just updated its status to zeitgeist. 

Gone are the days of suffering over cardboard veggie burgers, soggy nachos, and paltry non-meat selections on menus: From established eateries (Fresh on Spadina, The Hogtown Vegan) to newer restos (Rosalinda, Hello 123), it’s never been a better time for plant-forward options. Sure you can still choose to load up on salads if that’s your jam, but with so much available now, it’s no longer has to be your default move.

Vegan burger and sweet potato fries on white table in white room with white chair.

On Trend

In a recent study by Dalhousie University, over half of Canadians surveyed are amenable to eating less meat, with a third likely to scale back in the next six months. The reason for the switch? There’s a myriad of motivations including: ethical, environmental, mental and physical. Some people just find this way of eating makes them feel better. And while “plant-based” and “vegan,” are often used interchangeably, they are not however, the same. What’s the difference? Simply put, a vegan diet does not include anything that comes from an animal (dairy, meat, honey, etc.), while a whole-foods plant-based diet can include animal products and processed foods in small amounts or none at all, alongside whole grains, fruit and vegetables, etc.

Why Summerhill’s Leading the Charge

Here at the store we’ve seen an increase in plant-based items such as Beyond Meat Burgers and Sausages, vegan cheese, nut milks, etc. over the last months. And our own made-from-scratch plant-based fare has been flying off the shelves, including:

– Breakfast (Tofu Scramble w/ Tempeh)
– Vegan Soups (Corn, Black Bean & Tomatillo)
– Comfort Foods (Mac & Cheese, Lasagna, Eggplant Cannelloni w/ Cashew Cheese, Lentil Shepherd’s Pie topped with white or sweet potato)
– BBQ (BBQ Jackfruit)
– Snacks (Kale Chips, Protein Balls)

Summerhill’s new in-house vegan chef Lindsay is developing many more enticing plant-based options, so stay tuned. This week we’ve highlighted a number of name’s plant-based dishes in our bunker (located in the produce section), so come check it out. And in other exciting news – We’ve already made the switch over to white containers, and are working on compostable straws, paper bags at the cash, and other earth-friendly options. This week, we’re test-driving compostable containers that go in the green, not blue bin. How cool is that?!

Trends come and go, but plant-based eating is here to stay. So whether you start out small (#Meatless Mondays) or go big or go home (buh-bye steaks f-o-r-e-v-e-r), we’ve got you covered. p.s. Stay tuned – there’s lots more exciting news to come. Be sure to follow us on social @summerhillmkt and tag us with #summerhillveganeats in your pics to be featured.

Stephanie Dickison

Stephanie Dickison

A journalist with over 20 years experience, specializing in restaurants, chefs, food and drink. In addition to daily articles and features, profiling top chefs and interviewing celebs, as editor and feature writer for Toronto Restaurants, her Open/Closed column is a must-read every Thursday morning for the newest openings, and latest news + events. 

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