More and more people are participating in Meat-Free Mondays – a global campaign initiated by former Beatle Paul McCartney, which aims to reduce the amount of meat we consume, in order to lessen our environmental impact. The campaign is taking hold – in the Netherlands, for example, it’s estimated that up to 75% of the population no longer eats meat every day. A farmer-turned-entrepreneur in The Netherlands has spotted a business opportunity in this overwhelming meat-free trend. His business idea? A vegetarian butcher shop, of course!

What is De Vegetarische Slager?

De Vegetarische SlagerThe Vegetarian Butcher – may have the look and feel of a traditional European butchery or delicatessen, but it actually provides Dutch consumers with high-quality, tasty and sustainable alternatives to meat.

What makes The Vegetarian Butcher special?

The Vegetarian Butcher claims to be the first of its kind in the world, appealing to the higher end of the market – clientele who are prepared to spend as much on meat-free alternatives as on meat. Says founder Jaap Korteweg – who also happens to be a Lupin farmer – The Vegetarian Butcher is Europe’s first ‘butcher’ shop aimed at vegetarians and flexitarians, and is dedicated to meat substitutes in the same way that a traditional butcher shop is dedicated to meat. Included in The Vegetarian Butcher’s array of meat-free products is a range of lupin-based products. Lupin is a protein-rich legume, popular with the Ancient Romans and Ancient Egyptians. It’s said to be the ultimate health food – low in starch, gluten free, high in protein and fibre and with a low Glycaemic Index (G.I.), it’s perfect for managing diabetes and heart disease and for weight control.

Another factor distinguishing The Vegetarian Butcher’s fare from other vegetarian foods is Koreweg’s uncompromising stance on flavour, who isn’t afraid to add eggs or cream to improve the taste of the products he sells. He stresses his products are meat-free, rather than 100% vegetarian, and it’s this approach which has guaranteed the success of The Vegetarian Butcher brand in the mainstream market.

For more inspiration…

While vegetarianism in South Africa is still on the fringe, according to the South African Food Review, a growing number of South Africans are reducing meat consumption. Here’s some food for thought:

The Vegetarian Butcher
Image courtesty of The Vegetarian Butcher