Meat is the favorite but least consumed food for Turks: Survey
A fresh survey has revealed a number of key figures about Turks’ eating habits, the socioeconomic ramifications of these habits and the country’s food production figures.
According to the survey released on Jan. 8 at a press meeting in Istanbul, meat is the favorite food product for Turkish people but the consumption of it, especially red meat, is at very low levels - particularly among low-income groups.
Metro Cash & Carry along with Konda Research and Consultancy carried out the survey by conducting face-to-face interviews with 2,713 people from 163 neighborhoods and villages in 31 provinces in December 2017.
The majority of participants responded that red meat was their favorite food. This option was followed by stuffed vegetable dishes and white bean stew. The most-cooked dishes were described as soup, pasta and rice dishes, in that sequence.
In response to another question about which food product they would most desire to have in their refrigerators if financial difficulties were not an issue, 62.3 percent of participants said red meat, meat products and chicken. This was followed by fresh fruit and vegetables with 8.8 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively.
The survey also showed that the lowest income group of society consumed only 279 grams of red meat and chicken per capita on weekly basis. This amount increased to 645 grams per capita in the highest income group, but the consumption of red meat and chicken were still very low for this income level as well.
The most-consumed food products by the lowest income group are fresh fruits, vegetables and rice dishes. For the highest income group, these products were named fresh fruits, vegetables and fish, according to the survey.
Most participants also said they preferred to eat döner kebab, another meat dish, when they were out to eat.
The survey also showed the concept of family played a key role in Turkish people’s eating habits.
“Family is the main focus of everything in Turkey, not just for eating habits. We have seen this in almost all of our surveys. Individualism is very low in the country and most people want to come together with their family members for dinners,” said Bekir Ağırdır, the general director of Konda.
He also noted that meals are mainly cooked by women in Turkey and 49 percent of participating males did not do anything in the kitchen.
“This rate soars to 60 percent in conservative families,” he also noted.
‘Supporting food products with geographical indications’
Kubilay Özerkan, the managing director of Metro Cash & Carry Turkey, said one of the main aims of the company was to embrace and protect Turkish cuisine, adding that the scientific analysis of Turkish cuisine, Turks’ eating habits and the country’s production capacities mattered a lot.
“While there were 32 sheep genres some 50-60 years ago, their numbers have been declining day by day. One day, we will have to use hamburger-meat for Adana kebab, which is famous for being made with lamb meat. In an effort to prevent the loss of original food products, we have been giving priority to products with geographical indications,” he said, adding that many such Turkish products, from Aydın’s fig to Diyarbakır’s watermelon, have taken place on Metro’s shelves.
“Our aim is to enable future generations to enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine,” Özerkan added.