For Professional Clients and, in Switzerland, for Qualified Investors only. In Israel for Sophisticated Investors only.
English
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
en
  • en
  • fr
  • de
  • es
Filter by theme
Filter by date
Filter by boutique
Filter by theme
Filter by date
Filter by boutique
No posts matching your criteria
Clear theme
Clear all
No posts matching your criteria
Clear date
Clear all
No posts matching your criteria
Clear boutique
Clear all
For Professional Clients and, in Switzerland, for Qualified Investors only. In Israel for Sophisticated Investors only.
English
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
en
  • en
  • fr
  • de
  • es
© 2021. BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited. All rights reserved.
IDEAS AND KNOWLEDGE TO INSPIRE YOUR INVESTMENTS THINKING
28 January 2021

Are plant-based foods the way forward?

Recently, there has been increased focus on the health implications of excess meat consumption, and the benefits of a plant-based diet. While there is evidence that reducing meat consumption in favour of a plant-based diet is beneficial for human health as well as the environment, the specifics are heavily contested, and as yet there is no definitive evidence on the optimal level of meat consumption or whether red meat is more damaging than white meat.

 

The overall ‘healthiness’ of a product cannot be boiled down to a single measure. Furthermore, the impact of specific micronutrients varies according to the health status of the individual consumer. This makes evaluating the health implications of ingesting a specific food subjective, and potentially contentious.

 

A diet high in salt, for instance, is understood to increase blood pressure, which is a significant contributor to cardiovascular disease. As a result, salt and sodium content is also at increased risk of regulation.

 

Given their high-salt content, this is the most material consideration when analysing plant-based meat alternatives relative to traditional meat. The comparison is even worse versus plant-based foods such as lentils or tofu. However, when compared to a selected handful of other processed burger products, plant-based versions are actually not any higher in sodium.

 

The plant-based meat alternatives can also be far higher in saturated fat than other plant-based foods such as lentils, and even higher in saturated fat than animal meats. As with salt, the saturated fat content of plant-based meat alternatives is often similar to that of other processed food products.

 

There are significant risks of consumer preferences shifting towards healthier product options, as well as the likelihood of further regulation, which may increase operational costs. While the debate around the health impact of plant-based food products is more nuanced, it is clear that, from an environmental perspective, there are benefits from reducing the consumption of animal-based products, which is something consumers are increasingly aware of.

 

Rebecca White, responsible investment analyst, Newton Investment Management.

Please note the content on this website is for Investment Professionals only and should be shared responsibly. No other persons should rely on the information contained within this website.

 

Investment Managers are appointed by BNY Mellon Investment Management EMEA Limited (BNYMIM EMEA), BNY Mellon Fund Management (Luxembourg) S.A. (BNY MFML) or affiliated fund operating companies to undertake portfolio management activities in relation to contracts for products and services entered into by clients with BNYMIM EMEA, BNY MFML or the BNY Mellon funds.

Subscribe to updates