One thing that is more common in India’s food consumption is that Indians love to eat meat of some kind — chicken, mutton, fish or pork. In a country where food and dietary habits are ruled by religion and region, the old ways are yielding place to the new. As compared to eating habits few decades back, a 2016 national survey suggested that more than half of people aged between 15 and 34 eat meat. For instance, 70 per cent of Hyderabad’s 7.8 million population is non-vegetarian.
But as the country continues to grapple with persistent health issues (India is also called the diabetes capital of the world with over 50 million people suffering from type-2 diabetes), the food habits of Indians are fast changing.
An Ipsos report ‘Food Habits of Indians: Ipsos Study’ has observed that around 63 per cent Indians now want to eat plant-based food in place of meat. It indicates that Indians are now making informed choices.
An online survey of around 1,000 urban, upwardly mobile Indians, was conducted between late August and early September last year.
The report said:
“We know that Indians love their food and would drool for specialities like tandoori chicken, mutton and fish and their various non-vegetarian avatars. But 63 per cent of Indians polled say that are willing to eat a plant-based substitute for meat.”
As per the report, 57 per cent of the people surveyed consume organic foods.
The study’s results also reveal that dieting has limited traction with India’s middle class, and they give good eating the prime importance. Ipsos found that around 74 per cent of those surveyed are happy with their current weight.
Also taking a look at Indians’ attitudes towards different types of food, Ipsos also found that 57 per cent eat organic food. This is far more than those in the developed world.