Plant-Based Nutrition Made Easy

More vegetables, less meat. More and more people are trying to cut out meat more often. About ten percent of Germans are vegetarians, and a good one percent eat vegan, i.e. completely avoid animal products.

Overall, however, per capita meat consumption has only fallen slightly, says Berlin food blogger Rebecca Hoffmann, but there are many meat alternatives today. “Ten years ago you didn’t have any alternatives apart from salad or vegetables. In the meantime, the variety of plant-based substitute products has increased. That might make it easier to make the switch.”

Lupine, seitan, and co: the range of meat substitutes is large

Lupine fillets, black bean cashew burgers, or seitan crisps: the selection of purely plant-based products is growing from month to month, even in discount supermarkets. They consist of soy, wheat, or mycoprotein, which are protein-rich mushrooms. However, according to food expert Su Song, plant-based does not always mean healthy. “There are many alternative products, such as vegan cheese, which is basically just analog cheese, meaning it’s made from a lot of different fats mixed together.”

Rebecca Hoffmann and Su Song’s food blog “Fraeuleinchen” provides lots of new vegetarian recipes: vegan merguez with lentil salad, for example, asparagus quiche, or cold soybean noodle soup. “Plant-based hedonism” is what this new meatless treat is called in Anglo-American countries. Veggie dishes have even become a matter of course in canteen kitchens, confirms Su Song: “Now spaghetti bolognese, made with soy mince, is almost standard repertoire. Or chili sin carne.”

Meat becomes a side dish

Vegetables are the new star on the plate, and meat is increasingly becoming a side dish. Even vegan grilling is becoming more and more normal. With the current drought and unhealthy factory farming, more and more people are calling themselves “flexitarians.” Losing weight and staying fit are other reasons many consumers choose to eat less meat.

Healthy fast food is in demand

This automatically results in another trend: healthy fast food. “You’re seeing more and more gastro systems that offer a way to eat quickly during the lunch break without having to resort to sandwiches or pizza. Instead, they offer bowl dishes, for example, where different vegetables or side dishes are simply put on a plate. That’s also a trend – to eat quickly and healthily.”

Where does the food come from

Social changes are also reflected in the food culture. So it’s no wonder – as Rebecca Hoffmann and Su Song sum up – that in times of increasing environmental disasters and food scandals, many people want to eat more consciously and sustainably. “More and more restaurants are checking where their products come from, prominently pointing out producers on their menu cards. This product variety is definitely helping the trend spread. Because it’s becoming easier to eat a purely plant-based diet.”

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