It’s the hot new movement that’s been identified as one of the key food trends for 2018, but what exactly is flexitarianism and how do you go about becoming a flexitarian? Don’t worry, it’s nothing about being able to touch your toes but it is all about being flexible and adaptable in your approach to eating meat.
Essentially, flexitarianism is the practice of being a vegetarian who also chooses to eat meat once in a while. Why, you might ask, isn’t it a meat eater who sometimes chooses to go veggie? That would mean missing the point, in fact. The idea is to gently introduce the concept of reducing the meat intake in a carnivore’s diet to enjoy a number of important benefits for your body as well as for the environment.
It gives you the best of both worlds
In an age when the world is kicking back against binary choices, flexitarianism gives you the chance to be fundamentally vegetarian but to also enjoy meat when the fancy takes you – for example, when everyone around you is enjoying bacon sandwiches and the best veggie option for you would be a bland bowl of cereal. And don’t worry if you think minimising your meat intake will mean no more takeaways. There are plenty of vegetarian options always available from delivery services like Deliveroo, whose collaboration with various restaurants allows customers to order food of many different types.
It’s better for the environment
It’s a fact that cattle farming around the world releases a huge volume of greenhouse gases, especially methane, into the atmosphere and it’s been estimated that that by halving beef consumption in Europe we could meet all of our targets for tackling climate change by 2050. So anything we can do to help this on its way has to be a very good idea – even if we don’t completely stop eating meat, reducing it helps greatly.
Next time you do your weekly shop take a look at the receipt and work out how much you spend on meat compared with the amount you spend on fruit and veg. Then take a look at just how much meat you’re getting for your money. Pretty soon you’ll realise that, euro for euro, you’ll be getting much better value by upping the vegetarian content of your diet and having meat as an occasional treat.
It’s better for you
It seems like every week there’s a new report suggesting that meat eating is bad for our health. Even if some findings are later reversed, there’s still enough evidence to suggest that reducing our intake will have some real benefits. We can get virtually all the vitamins and minerals we need from a veggie diet, as well as valuable dietary fibre, essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
It’s the first step to vegetarianism
Finally, it may be that you’ve flirted with going vegetarianism in the past but have never made that final leap. Well, flexitarianism could be the ideal staging post along the way. Then, gradually, you can reduce the meat you eat until every day’s a meat-free one – unless you decide to go back to being a flexitarian, of course!