More water than ingredients of plant origin: the composition of vegetarian dishes pinned down

In the vegetarian section of your supermarket, you will find a lot of water for few ingredients of plant origin… In a study published on Monday, September 28, the CLCV consumer association warns about the composition of vegetarian and vegan products sold by the large distribution. She investigated 95 plant-based dishes (soy, vegetables, legumes, grains) and the results are surprising.

Dishes composed mainly of water

“More than half of the products are mainly composed of water! Ingredients of plant origin represent on average only 39% of the recipe “, according to the results of the study. The latter shows that the rest of the recipe is made up of fat, salts, spices and additives. The vegetable pancakes are the best students with 53% of ingredients of vegetable origin.

Vegetarian meals in the canteen yes, but … “the quality is not there today”

In addition, among the 95 vegetarian and vegan products studied, “Eight out of ten products contain at least one additive”, specifies the document. The meat imitations category is the worst with an average of almost two additives per product, followed by breaded products. The association also points to a strong transformation of products:“The majority of additives used are texturizers (64%), flavors (23%) then colorants (3%). Texturizers are widely used in this type of product in order to get as close as possible to the consistency of a meat steak. “

Request for a recognized official label

While 83% of products achieve an A or B rating on their nutritional score, only 20% of the products studied provide this rating.

The association behind the study is therefore pleading for the creation of an official label recognized by the State. It also calls on manufacturers and distributors to display the Nutri-Score to allow “A quick comparison of the nutritional qualities of products” and to “The creation of an official label recognized by the State to provide reliable and clear information to the consumer”.

Some associations want to make the Nutri-Score compulsory in Europe. This is why they will struggle

The consumer defense association also points to the lack of transparency on the origin of ingredients, with only 19% of products specifying their real origin on their packaging, “Especially when a statement such as” made in France “or a French flag appears on the packaging”.

Low correlation between price and quality

The study shows that there is a weak correlation between the price and the nutritional quality, the quantity of ingredients of plant origin, the quantity of additives and the French origin of the

Buy more expensive “Will therefore not guarantee a better Nutri-Score, more ingredients of plant origin and fewer additives”, warns the CLCV.

Should we restrict ourselves to save the planet?

In addition, consuming these products “Ultra-transformed” plants “Is not within the reach of all budgets”, is it underlined in the study. The price of a kilo of vegetable steak is 13 euros, compared to 10.50 euros for its animal counterpart.

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