I am Annabelle Randles co founder of eco retailer By Nature and this is my blog The Flexitarian where I write about food, ethics and the environment.

I was born and bred in France, the country of food lovers.

I am lucky enough to have had very good role models in my mum and grand-mother who are (and were) very good cooks.  As a child, I honestly cannot recall having had a single store bought meal. My mum was working full-time yet managed to cook (and freeze) on Sundays all the weekly meals. I enjoyed cooking from a very young age and to this day I try to cook from scratch most of my family’s meals.  I love food… good food that is.

I was raised on a omnivorous diet including both plant and animal foods. And in France it is fair to say that meat eaters (as long as they are adventurous) are particularly spoilt. I remember when I took my English husband (then boyfriend) for our first Christmas at my parents. A feast including snails, frogs’ legs, pigeons and deer. To his credit he was very polite and ate it all. I truly thought this would be the end of our relationship!

Living in France I never gave much thought to not eating meat. It was just something I and everyone else around me did. Nothing better than a steak to get you back on track.

I discovered vegetarianism when I lived abroad.  Slowly but surely my attitude towards what I ate evolved. My “eco” husband was a big influence.  I started looking at the issues around animal welfare, modern farming and the impact of meat on the environment.  Today I hardly ever eat meat and I do not miss it. I truly believe that the future of food lies in a plant-based diet.

As we all need to change our eating habits, I feel the flexitarian diet is a great solution for many people who do not want to give up meat entirely yet feel that for health, ethics and/or environmental reasons have to eat less of it.

The Flexitarian Blog is here to help you discover great vegetarian and vegan recipes (that I have fully tried and tested myself) and how to replace meat. It is not about NOT eating meat but about eating LESS of it. And when you do eat meat, well make sure it is GOOD meat (raised to humane standards,  organic if possible and try to be aware where it is coming from). If anything, the horse meat scandal has shown that today we often have no idea of what we eat or where it is coming from.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me at hello@theflexitarian.co.uk.