In many parts of the world, more and more people are changing or even changing their diet. This is not a new trend as new diets tend to come and go. What is noteworthy about the recent changes, however, is that many people are choosing to consume more herbal products.
This change applies in Germany and many other parts of Europe. In recent years, the number of people switching to vegans and vegetarians has increased steadily. A particularly remarkable change, because traditional German cuisine is meat-heavy. The most popular dishes in the country are meat dishes. The fact that people are choosing fruits and vegetables instead indicates a big change.
How many people choose a plant-based diet? According to a survey, the number of vegans in Germany has doubled in just four years. They say that 2.6 million people are vegans and 3.6 million vegetarians as of June 2020.
However, not all go all out. Far more people, aside from those who have become vegans and vegetarians, are choosing to include more fruits and vegetables in their diet. Categorized as “flexitarians”, these people do not forego meat and animal products, but consciously eat less of them.
According to a survey, around half of the German population describes themselves as flexitarians. These people should rather eat vegetarian and vegan than a traditional one with meat and other animal products.
The effects of changing diet trends
These trends definitely affect different industries and areas of life. A change in diet will not only change your health and lifestyle, it will also create a wave that will reach others in different ways.
First of all, diet changes will change the requirements in the catering industry. When people eat less meat, restaurants need to increase their plant-based offerings. They need to be responsive to what their customers want to eat in order for them to keep attracting them.
A good proof of concept here is the inclusion of plant-based meat on the menus of many fast food brands. It’s easy for independent, local restaurants to add a few vegetarian and vegan options to their menus, but big brands require dedication to do the same.
That’s why the changes at Burger King with their plant-based burgers and chicken sandwiches and North Sea with their Visch are evidence of the growing demand for more plant-based options. The fact that such brands have felt the need to live up to the clamor means that the plant-based trend has great potential.
However, the biggest impact of the plant-based trend could be the environment. By eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables, you are helping to make a shift. Reducing the demand for meat products can also reduce the environmental impact of animal husbandry and meat production.
How vegetable meat is better for the planet
How exactly is plant-based meat more environmentally friendly than regular meat, you might be wondering? Here are some reasons to consider:
Animal husbandry is not sustainable.
The fact is that animal husbandry consumes a lot of resources. They consume a lot of land to house the animals and carry out the processes they need to go through. They also consume a lot of water and food. Then there is the amount of waste they produce and their greenhouse gas emissions, which have a huge impact on the environment.
The production of vegetable meat, on the other hand, uses 47 to 99% less land than traditional animal farms. They don’t need large swaths of land to get their protein sources and other nutrients from meat.
72 to 99% less water is required in the production of vegetable meat. That’s a huge amount of resources that can be saved if people eat less meat. This can also have a significant impact on the climate, as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by around 30–90%.
In terms of pollution, plant-based meat promises better numbers. Compared to animal husbandry and meat production, their production is said to cause 51 to 91% less water pollution.
Vegetable meat can help protect animals.
It is no secret that some types of meat raise concerns about the populations of certain species. Overfishing and overfishing are alarming practices as they put certain animals at risk. This also applies to other flora and fauna that coexist with the animals caught for consumption. As a result, meat consumption damages ecosystems.
The above numbers are not considered final as not many studies have been conducted on the subject at the time of writing. However, these are very promising numbers and can be good evidence that plant-based meats can be a better alternative for those looking to stick with greener options.
Other dietary changes that may help the environment
If you want to do more about eating healthily, here are a few more things you can try.
Aside from switching to more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based options, you can also try to minimize the waste you produce when you eat. If you avoid consuming products in single-use plastic and non-biodegradable packaging, you can reduce the junk you send to landfill while meeting a basic need for your body. Composting is also another technique worth investigating.
Ingredients from the region
Opting for locally produced foods is also a great practice to incorporate into your environmentally conscious diet. By consuming such items, you can help reduce the transportation of products to your place of residence. In the long term, this can help reduce CO2 emissions.