Local foods such as red rice, sweet potatoes, tempeh, and tofu are affordable and easily accessible.


Some people say that being vegetarian would cost a lot of money. But I don’t think so if we are living in Indonesia as we know that we have so many homemade vegetable dishes around us.

Let say clear spinach soup, papaya leaves stir-fry, cassava leaves, and many more. No wonder that we are titled as the most vegetarian-friendly country in the world according to  Global Vegetarian Index released by Oliver’s Travels

We should change our mindset

Some people tend to focus on what we can’t eat as a vegan. In fact, there are so many things that we can eat here. It's just we need to change our mindset.

Like we said before, Indonesian food is actually vegan friendly and it's easy to make the switch. Local foods such as red rice, sweet potatoes, tempeh, and tofu are affordable and easily accessible. If we look at local dishes in the past, we were more plant-based than we were meat-eaters.


Photo Courtesy of Astri Anjarwati

The rising of plant-based foods during pandemic in Indonesia

Don't you know that being vegetarian is becoming a trend nowadays? Yes, there are many food lists for plant-based diets in Indonesia. Especially for vegetables which are easy to find every day with cheaper compared to meat price.  

Many experts and scientists predict that the consumption of vegetables will increase gradually. Will Indonesia finally reach the recommendation from WHO for ideal vegetable consumption? In fact, based on the data, nowadays, the consumption of vegetables in Indonesia is far below the WHO recommendation.


Photo Courtesy of Roti and Rice

What are the reasons plant-based diets becoming a future trend?

In a study conducted by EJ Lea, D Crawford, and A Worsley, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people choose to do a plant-based diet because of several factors, namely: healthier lifestyle, have a better quality of life, saving money, help the environment, till the moral reason to decrease hunger in the third world.

Krista Linares the founder of nutrition.com, mentions the reason peoples choose a plant-based diet. People are worried about the impact of global warming, so they choose foods that are more environmentally friendly. They consider food sources from plants to be more environmentally friendly.

After the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of urgency to improve health and immunity will remain. This has further strengthened the views of experts before the pandemic regarding the trend of plant-based diets in the future. It seems the main reason is more towards the benefit of this method to strengthen the body’s immunity.

How is the consumption of vegetables and fruits in Indonesia?

The amount of daily consumption of vegetables and fruit in Indonesia according to WHO recommendations are 400 grams per person per day. This figure includes 250 grams of vegetables and 150 grams of fruit.

The Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics conducted the 2019 National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas). The survey was conducted in 514 city districts in 34 provinces in Indonesia.


Photo Courtesy of Rachman

One of the survey topics was the average monthly expenditure of the Indonesian population to buy fruit and vegetables. The release of the survey results states that, nationally, the combined consumption of fruits and vegetables is 209.89 grams per capita a day. Of course, this number is still far from the WHO recommendation.

In order to increase the consumption of vegetable and fruit, Indonesian government launch “Isi Piringku” program in 2018. The concept of the program focus on the consumption of nutritionally balanced food with a variety of various kinds of nutritional intake such as carbohydrates, protein, minerals, and vitamins. As for the recommendation of a portion of the government’s version of “Isi Piringku” is that 50 percent contains vegetables and fruit and the remaining 50 percent is carbohydrates and protein.

Diet trend and culinary trend

What is interesting about this discussion topic is the similarity in direction between government policies and the shift in dietary trends. Especially with the Covid-19 pandemic which is still a trend of conversation until now. Gradually everyone will eventually choose a healthier lifestyle.

Many people are increasingly concerned about health, so they change their diet to be healthier. They even have new activities and hobbies by growing vegetables for their own consumption. One proof of this is that the demand for herbal products in Indonesia has increased significantly during the pandemic. One of the commodities that got a big profit. Vegetable and fruit commodities also grew significantly.





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