Research has found that 42% of Dutchies are flexitarians — people who sometimes eat meat but try to cut back and choose plant-based alternatives more often.
Fewer omnivores, and fewer vegetarians
At 48% the Netherlands also had the fewest omnivores — people who often eat meat. Given this statistic, there were surprisingly few Dutch participants in the survey who indicated that they were vegetarian (5%) and vegan (2%). Clearly, the flexitarian lifestyle is king — we love balance! 👑
In contrast, Poland had the most omnivores at 68% — that’s a lot of meat! 🥩🍗 Meanwhile, Germany (10%) and the United Kingdom (9%) had the most people calling themselves vegetarian or vegan.
Soy latte anyone?
The research also showed that one in three Dutchies drinks a vegetable alternative to dairy milk, such as soy or oat milk at least weekly. 🥛 Meat substitutes appeared equally as popular with Dutchies. For us, the verdict is still out on vegan chicken though….
However, many Dutch people don’t eat meat and dairy substitutes because they find them too expensive. Dutchies also proved less willing than other Europeans to pay more for meat substitutes than for meat.
“If you still eat meat every day, you are in the minority”
Thijs Geijer, an economist at ING research studies meat consumption in the Netherlands. He tells the NOS that while “many people indicate that they want to eat less meat, actually doing so is sometimes difficult in practice.”
This is because of a lack of choice, especially in restaurants, the fact that many people think that meat and dairy substitutes don’t taste good enough, and because of resistance on the part of partners and family members. I definitely don’t think I could eat a cauliflower steak while my partner ate sirloin. 🍴🥩
Despite this, flexitarianism is well established in the Netherlands, with Pablo Moleman of ProVeg saying that “If you still eat meat every day, you are in the minority.”
Better for the environment 🌎
The production of meat and dairy generally releases more C02 than the production of plant-based foods. As a result, the European Commission is trying to encourage people to eat more plant-based foods and less meat.
What are your thoughts on the number of flexitarians in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!
Feature Image: Tina Dawson/Unsplash