Much like environmentalists focusing on scary outsized statistics and nagging people to change their behavior has proven less than effective, moving people to a non meat diet won’t be achieved through polarizing positions, guilt, shaming, or lashing out at meat eaters.
De Vegetarische Slager (The Vegetarian Butcher) is on to something interesting: It creates meat substitutes that are palatable to non vegetarians, and offers them in a setting/method of delivery familiar to them: The neighborhood butcher shop.
Restaurants like Portland, Oregon’s vegan Portobello have certainly proven successful among non vegetarians, particularly when their neighbor is a popular beer hall. Many adventurous eaters will benefit from an expansion of their dietary choices at such a place, but what of those who consider themselves mainstream, without a serious drive to shift their perhaps carbon intensive diet?
Judging by the comments on its site, the Lupin seed based products at De Vegatarische Slager are striking a chord. Soy and its derivatives have long been a staple of vegetarian and vegan products, but for most they are difficult to digest effectively. And the farming of soy has been often done in questionable, environmentally damaging ways. Not to mention that (at least in the US) 91% of soy is genetically modified.
Lupin seeds are as yet a largely unknown quantity in terms of present day human consumption, currently being used largely as feed for livestock in the developed world. However, the overall consensus among health professionals being a minimized consumption of meat products, having an additional path to that happening is definitely encouraging.
Readers: What’s been your experience/knowledge of Lupin seeds? How else are you seeing the effective mainstreaming of healthier/lower environmental impact diets? What will it take for something like this to happen in America, the land of the stubborn?
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations about, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media marketing.