Spanish food culture: Healthy foods and Veganism
Veganism has become more and more popular over the years all across the globe. This article focuses on Spain and the United Kingdom.
The transition to a diet that is less rich in animal products is one of the best ways to reduce our environmental footprint. It is estimated that eating one vegan or vegetarian meal a week could significantly reduce our environmental impact. Eating less meat or dairy products therefore seems to be one of the accessible ways to a de-carbonised future.
Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the vegetarian and the vegan "boom". It has undoubtedly been a growing trend in recent years. Consumers have shifted their diets towards a mainly vegetable-based diet. Thus, Spain has millions of people who recognise themselves as vegans, vegetarians or flexitarians. This shift is one of the most important changes in eating patterns in recent years all across the globe.
- British Food Culture
- Spanish Food Culture
British Food Culture
In Europe, the British are among the most advanced. There has been a profound change, particularly driven by the younger generation.
Veganuary is a British initiative that promotes a totally vegan January. Last year, a significant increase in participants was recorded. This month promotes and educates its participants about veganism and encourages people to follow a vegan lifestyle during a month.
This success is certainly due to the British desire to eat more healthily, to do something for the environment and at the same time to enjoy themselves. Indeed, the range of vegan products has expanded considerably. From major fast food brands, through private labels, to start-ups. Recents years have been the years of most accessible vegan options. The food industry as a whole has seized on the topic and sees it as the next growth bubble.
Finding vegan alternatives in your supermarket, and at all prices points, helps break down some of the elitist image of veganism. A totally vegan meal can now be fun, tasty, and filling.
The representation of veganism in the media, also explains this success. Influencers, celebrities, documentaries.. veganism is the new diet in sight.
Spanish Food Culture
Spain is between the 10 countries that are more vegetarian in the world. The vegan market is growing and more and more people are embracing this option. Being a veggie is a way of life that seeks to exclude all exploitation of animals for food, clothing or any other purposes. It is estimated that around 10% of Spaniards already eat a mainly plant-based diet, and almost 8% of the Spanish population over the age of 18 is vegan.
In the last few years, millions of Spaniards have modified their alimentation towards a diet composed principally of vegetables. This way, Spain counts more than 5 million veggies; individuals identifying as either vegan, vegetarian, of flexitarian.
As the demand is slowly increasing, it is logical that the Horeca sector is adapting and started to offer alternatives to traditional food. On the market, you may find different options for eating vegetable protein. Such as the vegetable chicken, or vegetable nuggets, burgers and pizzas. Burgers made with peas or soy. Alternatives are becoming more and more original, and the taste of the original product is becoming more and more similar to its alternative. Being vegan does not only include alimentation, but it also includes all products that may use any type of ressource from animals, these can include candy, creams, clothing, textiles etc.. Brands have to adapt to this shift in paradigms.
At the extreme of the innovation spectrum are the Foodtech start-ups that develop new and revolutionary food products. An outstanding creation recently made is vegetable sushi, a sustainable alternative to tuna, made from tomatos from Almeria. Solutions to animal slaughter and the waste of water and land are being carefully looked for.
Decreasing meat consumption and increasing fruit and vegetables intake could prevent a significant amount of deaths by reducing different types of diseases that derive from such alimentation.
The plant-based alternative in food is not only sustainable, but also delicous. This explains why brands are coming up more and more with a wide variety of products without animal-based ingredients.
The three main reasons for following this diet are ecology, health and ethics. People have become more aware that everything impacts on their health; this change has also been encouraged by the younger generation, who understand that everything they consume impacts on the world around them.
Barcelona has declared itself a friend of the vegetarian and vegan culture and is committed to developing actions to promote it. One of the main ones is the development of a vegetarian guide to the city and a mobile application to inform tourists and residents about vegan and vegetarian trade.
From now on, being vegetarian or vegan will not be a problem when enjoying Spanish gastronomy in Barcelona or in the rest of Spain. The Mediterranean city wants to show that there are alternative options to the famous Iberian sausages and meats.
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