At Blijdorp, we strive to offer the most sustainable food possible. This applies not only to the diet of our animals but also to the offerings available to visitors at our dining establishments. Additionally, we consider the packaging materials we use.
The production of meat and dairy generates a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. To protect the environment and animals, you can choose to eliminate meat and possibly even dairy and eggs from your diet. When you visit Blijdorp, you can also opt for vegetarian or vegan options. For example, our croquettes are vegan, and our sausage rolls are vegetarian. Additionally, we annually participate in the Meatless Week, which you can read more about here. The products we offer that contain meat are always selected with consideration for animal welfare and the environment.
In addition to our focus on sustainable food at Blijdorp, we are also mindful of packaging. We have a biobased disposable line that includes items like straws and cups made from lactic acid, a plant-based substance (PLA). We also use sauce containers made from sugarcane. By avoiding the use of plastic, Diergaarde Blijdorp strives to contribute to a cleaner world
The Blijdorp residents are also served sustainable food. For instance, leaf litter from local potted rose nurseries is collected, approximately 2,500 kilograms per week. It's considered a delicacy and enriches the diet of animals such as okapis. Giraffes, gorillas, black rhinos, and other residents also enjoy it. It's a tasty and sweet treat that's ideal because the leaves are non-toxic and contain hardly any pesticides. Insect control is primarily done using biological methods
Other residents of Blijdorp that receive sustainable food are the sea lions. They exclusively receive herring with the MSC certification. This is a label indicating sustainably caught fish by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). In 2010, all zoos that are part of the Dutch Association of Zoos transitioned to sustainably produced soy (43,000 kilograms of soy per year) in animal feed.
When it comes to food, the goal is for the entire offering at Blijdorp to be at least ninety percent plant-based. The remaining ten percent will not come from intensive livestock farming but may include wild-caught, certified, or organic options, for example. Additionally, we are considering potential future innovations in the field of nutrition. In the future, we may offer products based on insects, cultured meat, or 3D-printed meat.