More than 4% of Tel Aviv-Yafo residents define themselves as vegan, and another 4.5% self-define as vegetarian, according to a new survey commissioned by Tel Aviv Global & Tourism ahead of World Vegan Day (November 1) and World Vegan Month.
Home to approximately 450,000 residents, a study of Tel Avivians carried out by Geocartography Knowledge Group reveals that nearly 40,000 of them are either vegan or vegetarian. An additional 30,000 residents (6.6%) describe themselves as pescatarian.
Tel Aviv-Yafo, recognized globally for its thriving and diverse culinary scene, is home to some 40 vegan, 44 vegetarian, and 171 “veg-friendly” restaurants – according to Happy Cow. The city was named one of BBC Good Food’s “Destinations for Foodies in 2020” for its status as a magnet for “lovers of plant-based food.”
The new data also reveal that an impressive 37.4% of Tel Avivian meat-eaters have substantially (13.1%) or slightly (24.3%) reduced their meat consumption during the past 12 months.
A total of 31% of meat-eaters in the city plan to reduce their meat consumption during the coming year and 2.2% hope to completely eliminate meat from their diet. Almost half (48.8%) of Tel Aviv-Yafo residents eat an entirely vegan meal at least twice a week, the survey found.
From fresh juice stands lining the non-stop city’s boulevards to hummus bars and Middle Eastern-inspired vegan gourmet dining, it is no surprise that the culinary scene of Tel Aviv-Yafo has also become a leading and permanent fixture on the vegan map of the world.
Tel Aviv-Yafo is also home to an innovative new Israeli cuisine that fuses together multiple culinary cultures, creating a foodie haven that draws visitors from around the globe. Check out the rapid emergence of Tel Aviv-inspired restaurants and cafes worldwide in recent years.
The survey also reveals what lies behind Tel Aviv’s large vegan population and reduced meat consumption among other residents. Two-thirds (66.5%) of respondents said health concerns drive their diet choices. Taste, animal welfare, economics, and environmental protection were also key factors.
Eitan Ben-Ami, director of the Environment and Sustainability Authority at Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, said: “The results of the survey demonstrate a positive and impressive trend of healthy eating among the residents of Tel Aviv-Yafo, primarily resulting from a shift towards a sustainable Mediterranean diet, as recommended by the World Health Organization.”
In April 2019, the city was elected as Coordinator of the Steering Committee of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP), a partnership between more than 200 member cities.
Tel Aviv-Yafo is also a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which sees promoting sustainable diets as an important factor in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The municipality’s “Bon Appetit” program works with municipal departments, non-governmental organizations, and government ministries to promote food security, access to healthy food, sustainability education, food waste reduction, and a healthy lifestyle among all residents.