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17,000 sign up for March vegetarian challenge
More than 17,000 people in Belgium have signed up for the Veggie Challenge, starting this Monday, during which participants pledge to eat no meat or very little meat for a month.
EVA vzw, a non-profit organisation that promotes ethical and vegetarian food, is spearheading the Belgian participation in this worldwide effort.
And this year, self-proclaimed meatball king Wim Ballieu, the owner and creator of Balls & Glory - a meat-centric restaurant chain with locations in Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven, Mechelen and Sint-Niklaas - is joining the challenge.
"If you go to the Veggie Challenge website, you can choose between not eating meat for a month or a few days," Ballieu said. "I chose to eat meat only one day every week. That way my diet is meatless six days a week."
He added: "For the first time we have created a vegetarian fake ball that is very close to the classic meatball in texture and taste. It's quite popular with our customers.
"By means of new technologies you can make protein sources from soy that are not made with kilos of flour. It is important that the taste be right, the local ingredients and the necessary nutritional values must also be right."
Anyone who wants to take up the March-long vegetarian challenge can register via this website.