As of late, I have been seeing more and more information about the popularity of plant-based, or vegan, diets. Recently, the headline, “This Year’s Oktoberfest Caters to Vegans” of a Specialty Food Association article caught my attention.
Oktoberfest is the world's largest fair held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October, with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year.
This NPR blog article entitled, “Meat-Drenched Oktoberfest Warms to Vegans” caught my attention because when I think of Oktoberfest, I think about beer and bratwurst.
According to this blog, more than 8-9% of the German population is vegetarian. That’s over 7 million people! In fact, vegetables have become so hip in Germany, the Green Party used them as part of their platform in national elections last month. The party campaigned for a weekly "veggie" day in corporate cafeterias, where most German employees eat a free lunch.
Can you imagine the impact here in the U.S.A., if state and county fairs offered baked potato wedges, fruit kabobs and veggie wieners, instead of fried Twinkies, corn dogs and ice cream? What kind of impact would that have on our food choices?
It is probably no coincidence that a friend of mine forwarded another NPR blog to me a few weeks ago entitled, “No bitter pill: Doctors prescribe fruits and veggies.” It’s a quick story on New York physicians who are now writing prescriptions for fruits and veggies. In the article, you can listen to the story about how the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program™ is the creation of Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit that connects the low-income population with local produce.
So, get ready for your next trip to the doctor:
After the nurse takes your blood pressure and weighs you, the doctor writes you a prescription for “Eat 1 serving of Broccoli, Strawberries, Carrots, Kiwifruit and Cauliflower 5 times a day. Repeat for your entire lifetime.”