Flexitarian (aka Flexible Vegetarian or Vegivore) is a relatively new term that defines someone who follows a vegetarian diet while including meat from time to time.
According to Wikipedia, “In 2003, the American Dialect Society voted flexitarian as the year’s most useful word. In 2012, the term was listed for the first time in the mainstream Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary”.
Flexitarians are gaining momentum. ‘Twenty years ago, vegetarianism was scoffed at,’ says Charles Banks, director of food trends agency The Food People. ‘But of late, there has been a seismic shift in attitudes towards celebrating vegetables and opting to eat less meat. We expect meat-free eating and flexitarianism to soon be a megatrend.’(Source: Metro)
Obviously, for hardcore vegetarians, flexitarianism can be seen as cheating yet it represents an important shift in the way we relate to food. The horsemeat scandal has shown to everyone that we have no idea what is on our plate. Mass-produced meat, quality vs quantity. It certainly feels that it has gone out of control. On the environmental side, the planet certainly cannot sustain our meat-eating habits.
For some flexitarianism can be a first step towards vegetarianism, for others (previously vegetarian) a return to eating meat. Most people would probably already consider themselves as flexitarians or flexible vegetarians, yet this goes beyond “hey I don’t eat meat every day”. To my mind, it is not just another label or fad.
Flexitarianism is about a growing awareness of the links between food, health, ethics and the environment and how we need to reconnect with the food we eat. Most flexitarians do make a conscious effort to go without meat.
It’s easy anyone can do it so why not give it a try!
What do you think of the flexitarian diet?