Almost 50% of kids in Berlin rarely or never eat meat, new study shows | Totally Vegan Buzz

Almost 50% of kids in Berlin rarely or never eat meat, new study shows

Kid eating watermelon showing Veganism is on the rise among UK schoolkids
Veganism is on the rise among UK schoolkids.

What has made Germany an outlier in global meat consumption?

New research shows that children in Berlin compared to other regions in Germany predominantly eat a plant-heavy diet.

The study was conducted by AOK health insurance and compared the dietary habits and health of families across multiple regions in the country.

It surveyed 8,500 parents with children between the ages of four to 14. Results indicated that 33% of children in Germany eat reduced amounts of meat. In Berlin, almost half of all children consume little to no meat in their diets followed by Baden-Württemberg (42%), Bremen (41%), and Hamburg (39%).

The data found that children in the eastern German states were less likely to follow this trend compared to those in other regions.

Why is Germany steering away from meat?

According to a 2021 report by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, meat consumption has fallen 12.3% from 138 pounds of meat in 2011 to 121 pounds in 2022.

While there’s no single explanation as to why Germans are cutting back on meat, Jens Tuider of ProVeg International pointed out that “it’s the flexitarians that drive this development.”

The study also showed that 26% of families in Berlin follow a flexitarian diet, while 18% feed their children a vegetarian diet.

According to experts, one of the reasons for meat falling out of favour could be linked to a series of scandals that have brought the German meat industry under heightened scrutiny. These include revelations of forced labour in abattoirs, instances of spoiled meat being sold nationwide, outbreaks of avian and swine flu, and inquiries into animal mistreatment.

Moreover, the younger population of the country is highly concerned about climate change and views transforming the food industry as a potential means of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

 “There has been a cultural shift, particularly among young people, who are much more conscious of what they consume and how they eat,” Inka Dewitz, a representative of Heinrich Böll Stiftung, a foundation in Germany linked to the German Green Party said.

The plant-based trend in Germany

The growing plant-based trend has greatly impacted the food landscape of the country. The quality and availability of plant-based options have greatly improved due to innovation from restaurants, food tech startups, and big food companies.

The Federal Statistical Office of Germany reported a 72.7% increase in the production of plant-based meat alternatives in 2020 compared to the previous year.

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