Sustainable eating is cheaper and healthier, according to Oxford study

November 10, 2021
lifestyle changes
money saving

A new study from Oxford University suggests that adopting a vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diet could reduce the food bill of residents of high income countries by up to one-third. More specifically, it found that:

  • Vegan diets were the most affordable and reduced food costs by up to one third.
  • Vegetarian diets were a close second.
  • Flexitarian diets with low amounts of meat and dairy reduced costs by 14%.
  • Pescatarian diets increased costs by up to 2%.

The researchers hope that their findings will help to address the widely-held perception that sustainable lifestyles are more expensive.

The results suggest that, in low- and middle-income countries, healthy and sustainable diets are up to 25% less expensive than western diets, but tend to be more expensive than prevalent diets, which typically contain large amounts of starchy food. Nevertheless, with changes such as a reduction in food waste, healthy and sustainable diets could become cost-competitive in such locations within the medium-to-long term.

The study focused on whole foods and omitted highly-processed meat replacements or eating at restaurants or takeaways.