Considering Belgium is big on their carbonade flamande (a sweet-sour steak and ale stew), a Flemish institute has made an impressing move by removing processed meat from their food pyramid and placing it alongside candy, chips, soda and alcoholic beverages.
The pyramid, which was created by the Flemish Institute for Healthy Living, pretty much just got flipped around. At the top, you’ll find many nutritious and plant-based items, including vegetables, fruits, bread, rice, as well as nuts, while dairy and meat are at the bottom.
“These should form the basis of our meals,” the institute wrote in a statement regarding plant-based foods.
On the other hand, processed meats, including bacon and sausages, are not on the pyramid at all; they can be found in a little red circle beside the pyramid that says “Zo weinig mogelijk” (which translates to “as little as possible” from Dutch). This is where you’ll find all of the processed junk food you should try to avoid.
“We want to make it clear that we don’t need these products,” Loes Neven of the institute told VRT. “We don’t forbid them, but they should be rather an exception than rule.”
Belgium joins Canada, who recently drafted their new food guide to include recommendations that promote an increase of plant-based foods in the diet and reduce the consumption of animal-based products.