Which Meat Centric City Has Just Been Called 'Europe's Veggie Capital'?

A veggie initiative is changing the food landscape of the city
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Ghent is traditionally very 'meat-centric' (Photo: Alexandra Andersson)

Ghent is traditionally very 'meat-centric' (Photo: Alexandra Andersson)

Ghent in Belgium has been called 'Europe's veggie capital' by news outlet Mic .

According to the publication, an initiative called Donderdag Veggiedag - which translates as 'Thursday Veggie Day' - sees more than '90 restaurants, 20 hotels, and 50 percent of the city’s population observing vegetarianism for the day'.

No veg zone

Mic reports that pre-Veggiedad, it was difficult to track down meat-free meals in the city.

The initiative, which was implemented by environmental Ethical Vegetarian Alternatives changed all that, by promoting plant-heavy eating by creating veggie eating guides, as well as setting up Veggiedad.

It has been around for almost a decade now, and has made an impressive mark on the city's eating habits.

Half of Ghent's population is believed to take part in Veggie Thursdays (Photo: Jonatan Moerman)

Half of Ghent's population is believed to take part in Veggie Thursdays (Photo: Jonatan Moerman)

Training

Many of the city's chefs are now trained in meat-free cooking, and parents and children are offered free veggie cooking courses.

Teachers are trained in how to promote both veggie and vegan cooking in schools.

EVA organizer Melanie Jacques told Mic: "People know it’s important to eat less meat, but people don’t have the knowledge about the cooking and the ingredients.”

Change

This is all evolving though.

Jacques adds: "We’ve seen that those active in veggie days move further and further into vegetarianism. 

"Polls over five years show that those who participate in Thursday Veggie Day spend an average of three days per week as a vegetarian."

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