Cheese is still a challenge. As the third worst emitter of greenhouse gases (after lamb and beef), I have therefore really been trying to find ways to reduce our family’s need for real cheese.

My latest success has been in being able to replace parmesan, which is actually one of the worst cheeses in terms of its impact. (Hard or aged cheeses have a higher impact than soft and younger cheeses.) I have therefore been recently delighted to find that I can sprinkle some of this Violife wedge on our pasta dishes without anyone being able to tell that it isn’t real parmesan. (We just don’t smell it!)

However, following on from my last post about cheese (Cheese : Imperfect Footprints) I am still  struggling to find a vegan cheese that we can enjoy in a simple cheese toastie. (So I am still having to buy some UK made, organic real cheese for that.)

If I look at the bigger picture though, we do now use dairy-free milk, butter, yoghurt, cream, ice cream and pizza. Plus most of our cooked meals that require cheese do also work well with the Violife dairy-free cheese. And so even if we do still have the odd real cheese toastie, it is still a lot better than what our dairy intake used to be.

As much as “Veganuary” challenges people to try to not eat meat and dairy it is not asking for an all or nothing approach, but more about what is realistic for each individual even if it is just one meat-free day a week.

A recent study claims “If everyone in the UK just swapped one more red meat-based meal to a plant-based meal per week, we would cut the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 50 million tonnes. The equivalent of taking 16 million cars off the road.”

After a year of trying, I know that we as a family will probably never be able to achieve being 100% Vegan but we will continue to do our best to reduce the impact of our diet as much as we feel is doable for us. Every small change helps, even if it is just a little sprinkle of “fake” parmesan!