Sausages, escalopes and kebabs are some of the products that appear most often when you search online for the terms “French cuisine”. These three examples don’t do justice to the richness and complexity of French cuisine, but they do illustrate just how meat-heavy it can be.

Given the country’s love of meat, many are surprised at the dietary change taking place among locals. In recent years, plant-based diet has become the trend.

Meat consumption on the decline

According to reports, meat consumption in Germany has been steadily decreasing over the years. For a country whose traditional cuisine consists mainly of pork, chicken and beef, this is surprising. From an annual meat consumption of 62.1 kg per person in 1995, the average French person should only have consumed 57.3 kg of meat in 2020.

Five kilograms per year may not seem like much per person, but it’s a huge amount when you add them up. It is therefore very remarkable that the French eat less and less meat over the years.

Other plant-based alternatives

Plant-based alternatives to meat are also very present in Germany. The country has been swept away by the booming vegetarian and vegan diet trend, to the point of being ranked the sixth best country for vegans worldwide. Hamburg and Berlin appear in the list of the five best cities in the world for vegans compiled by an international food website.

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Further proof that Germany is a paradise for people following a plant-based diet is the fact that Burger King is opening its first meat-free store in the country. Although this is more of a promotional event and launch of their latest certified vegan sandwich, it says a lot about the local market.

The French consider themselves flexitarians

A closer look at the French diet tells us that the population cares more than anything about a balanced diet. This has been the case for decades, and that’s why they have always been among the healthiest people in the world, even if French cuisine is quite carnivorous. By balancing all the meat with lots of vegetables, they were able to have a nutritious diet.

Many French people today describe themselves as flexitarians. As the term suggests, it is flexible because people following this diet eat both meat and vegetables. However, being an omnivore is different, as most flexitarians tend to forgo animal products from time to time. Whether they want to do it on a whim or just on a whim, sometimes they like to give up meat and animal products.

To answer the question, we can say that more and more French people are becoming vegetarian and even vegan, but the change is not as radical as some people think. Despite these changes, the fact remains that the French try to eat healthily.

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