COFFEE WITH KISMET TO GO: Raising awareness about sustainable food environments with NGO “Gyvi Gali”
06 December 2023
KISMET started an online discussion format “Coffee with KISMET” to exchange knowledge and experiences among partners, stakeholders, and everyone interested in sustainable food environments. On the 30th of November, Coffee with KISMET hosted a guest from a Lithuanian NGO “Gyvi Gali”.
“Gyvi Gali” is the only non-governmental organization, which seeks dietary changes towards plant-based nutrition in Lithuania and is also the only organization that is responsible for vegetarian product certification in the Baltic countries. The organization was established a couple of years ago as a non-profit and their goal is to ensure that animal-friendly, nutritious, and sustainable food would be easily accessible for everyone in the country as well as in the region. That gives a firm basis for their vision, which is to make plant-based food a number one priority for businesses, people, and institutions alike.
To accomplish the envisioned plant-based changes in Lithuania, “Gyvi Gali” acts in three main areas: education – by building an inspirational newsletter, for everyone who seeks dietary changes; working with businesses to unite restaurants and encourage them to include plant-based dishes in their menus; institutional changes – with the mission to ensure that plant-based nutrition would be number one priority for various institutional choices.
Reaching change, however, is not easy. A survey, carried out by “Gyvi Gali” in Lithuania, showed, that only around 10 percent of all respondents in the country identify themselves as alternative eaters, such as vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, or flexitarians. However, around 30 percent of other respondents said that they have reduced or tried to reduce their meat consumption. So, the interest in experimenting with lowering meat consumption is obvious.
The study showed that women, average and higher income earners, and people in their 20-30s are more likely to choose or try a plant-based diet. Almost all of the respondents see a plant-based diet as healthy and orientated toward animal welfare, but at the same time, people believe that a plant-based diet lacks satiety. In addition to that, words and terminology also play a crucial role in promoting healthier dietary choices: for instance, terms such as vegetarian and vegan, as the representative from “Gyvi Gali” noted, are often seen with suspicion and have a negative connotation in Lithuanian dietary vocabulary.
If you are interested in learning more about the NGO “Gyvi Gali”, we encourage you to visit their website by clicking here: https://gyvigali.lt/en/. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates about KISMET progress and Coffee with KISMET events.