Vegan diets are becoming more popular all around the world, even in countries where such a drastic shift might not have been expected. With ecological matters becoming more important, people are choosing to avoid eating animal-based products for a variety of reasons. In addition, the health benefits of a vegan diet are widely documented and particularly attractive in an age where obesity and blood pressure levels are continuously on the rise. Israel is one country that is gradually making the change to veganism and this shift has seen plenty of support all around the nation.
One of the first big turning points in Israel’s culinary world came when Nana Shrier, the owner of Nanuchka, a popular Georgian-style bar in Tel Aviv, decided to change the menu of her restaurant to include nothing but vegan options. All products derived from animals were taken off the menu and this move came as quite a shock to the local population, with plenty of critics attacking the decision and forecasting a huge decline in popularity for Nanuchka. However, as time went by, the restaurant did not fail and is actually doing exceptionally well, with its selection of vegan dishes proving to be a real hit with the Israeli people.
Nanuchka isn’t the only establishment that has decided to make this switch to vegan foods. In fact, hundreds of other bars and restaurants have now been given the “Vegan Friendly” certification by featuring a variety of meals on their menus that are suitable for consumption by vegans. Even the famous pizza chain, Domino’s, has introduced a brand new pizza with dairy-free cheese in Israel. This pizza, like many other vegan options all across the country, has proven to be a huge success as a great number of people develop an interest in veganism.
Such a rapid rise in the popularity of this dietary trend has cemented Tel Aviv’s status as one of the top destinations for vegan travelers worldwide. Israel is certainly the place to be for new vegans, with the country boasting an unprecedented array of choices. Even the street food in Israel is vegan-friendly, with the country’s famous falafel being a staple choice throughout cities and towns. Not only that, but even the Israeli is taking measures to cater for vegan soldiers by offering animal-free meals and items of equipment that are not derived from animals.
The creation of a non-profit organization known as Vegan Friendly is certainly helping with this shift towards veganism, as the group works with food providers all across Israel to introduce meat-free options on their menus. Studies have shown that in 2010, only 2.6% of the Israeli population was vegetarian or vegan. Now, 5% are vegan and another 8% are vegetarian, with an additional 13% considering making the switch to a meat-free diet. When compared with countries like the United Kingdom or United States, where only 2% of the population claims to be vegan, Israel is evidently a global leader in terms of meat-free nutrition.