16 Oct 2023, 13:31
Carolina Kyllmann

Meat consumption in decline in Germany, consumers consider climate impact of diets – govt report

Clean Energy Wire

The amount of meat being eaten in Germany per year is dropping and people think more about what impact their dietary choices have on the environment and climate, according to the 2023 Nutrition Report of the agriculture ministry (BMEL) last week. Only 20 percent of people in Germany say they eat meat every day, down from 34 percent in 2015. Ten percent say they eat vegan or vegetarian alternatives to meat on a daily basis – twice as many as in 2020. Moreover, 46 percent of respondents to the survey, which was conducted by the Forsa Institute, said they consciously limit their meat consumption. Taste may be the most important factor when buying food but, according to agriculture minister Cem Özdemir from the Green Party, the issue of sustainability is becoming increasingly important for consumers. “They want to know what ingredients are in the food and that it is produced in an environmentally and climate-friendly way."

Animal welfare and regional production are other important factors for consumers when deciding what to buy, cook, and eat. Eighty percent said they pay attention to how the animal from which the food came was raised; while for 74 percent it was important that the food is produced in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. And 77 percent think it is important for people to eat less meat for climate protection. "Food culture in Germany is developing rapidly, and we shouldn't turn this into a culture war," Özdemir said. His ministry is working on a "nutrition strategy," set to be adopted at the end of the year with the aim of making good and healthy nutrition accessible to everyone in Germany.

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