Vegetable Consumption in Europe

How many kilograms of vegetables do Europeans eat every year?


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Map of the vegetable consumption in Europe.

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Vegetables, most of us didn’t like them as a kid. But most adults quickly realize they are very healthy and there are some amazing ways to cook some delicious vegetables. The amount of vegetables one needs, depends on the age and sex. But on average this is about 240 grams per adult per day or 87.6 kg per year.

We can see that a bit more than half of the European countries meet this requirement. Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, Iceland, Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia and Sweden do not meet the requirement, with the Netherlands consuming the smallest amount of vegetables in all of Europe. What’s interesting, is that vegetable consumption is many times higher in south eastern Europe. Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, North Macedonia and Turkey consume more than 200 kg of vegetables per year.

Although there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between vegetable consumption and meat consumption, we can see that some of the European countries that have a low meat consumption, make up for it by consuming far more vegetables.

But how exactly does the FAO define vegetables? It probably matches mostly with what you would consider a vegetable. However, there are a few interesting exceptions. Potatoes are not counted as vegetables. Mushrooms, melons and watermelons are. Yes, the FAO considers melons and watermelons vegetables. This is the FAO’s explanation: “This grouping differs from international trade classifications for vegetables in that it includes melons and watermelons, which are normally considered to be fruit crops. But, whereas fruit crops are virtually all permanent crops, melons and watermelons are similar to vegetables in that they are temporary crops”. Want to see the full list? Have a look here.

6 comments

    1. Hi Daan,
      You are correct. That is the definition of a vegetable the FAO uses and is therefore also the definition used in this map. I have edited the article and included a bit more about the FAO’s definition of a vegetable.

      Like

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