What Is Flexitarianism, And Is It For Me?
More and more people are reducing their consumption of meat and dairy, leading to the rise of ‘flexitarians’. But what exactly does this mean, and how is this way of eating beneficial to individuals and the planet?
What is flexitarianism?
Flexitarianism is a diet that is rich in plants, with reduced consumption of meat and animal products. It is also known as semi-vegetarianism.
Why do people adopt a flexitarian diet?
Lots of people love meat but recognise there are advantages to reducing meat consumption. For some, it may be for health reasons; plant-based diets attract people as it can help with weight loss and physical wellness. Lots of people also reduce their meat consumption for environmental reasons too, and in 2018 it was reported that a third of the British population were reducing their meat consumption, being either vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian.
Flexitarianism can work as a compromise between liking meat and wanting to eat more sustainably, as it allows people to incorporate more of a plant-based diet in their lives while also eating meat when they decide to. Flexitarianism is also quite a broad term because it can mean everything from being vegetarian or vegan once a week to eating meat only very occasionally. It is completely inclusive of anyone and everyone who wants to reduce their meat consumption.
How do you become a flexitarian?
Figuring out what to eat when you’re reducing the amount of meat you eat doesn’t have to be hard. It provides a great way of discovering new vegetables, grains and pulses for you to love cooking with and eating. Here are some top tips for eating more plants:
- Find some vegetarian and vegan meat that you like. This can help someone cross over to being flexitarian, as it means you can have dishes that you might already eat fairly regularly (sausage and mash, chicken stir-fries, bolognese etc.) but made plant-based. It's a great example of how swapping your beef mince for vegan mince can significantly reduce your meat consumption in the long run. Here’s a guide to shopping for supermarket vegan meat to get you started.
- Ease yourself into eating less meat. Deciding one day to eliminate animal products from your diet is a very big decision, and while some people may take it in their stride, for others (myself included), it's a pretty intense thing to decide without working up to it. So, the beauty of flexitarianism is that every little helps. Two days a week on a plant-based diet for one year saves roughly 2,200 gallons of water, 60 sqft of land and 40 lbs of CO2, for example.
- Swap out animal products with vegan and vegetarian alternatives. Changing your diet may feel like more of an inconvenience if you spend each mealtime having to prepare a completely new dish. Cooking what you know is still important if you are reducing meat; having some veganised favourites or quick meals that can be whipped up on weeknights is important. And can be easily achieved if you use plant-based butter, cream, milk, and cheeses. That way, old favourites like a cheesy pasta bake or a jacket potato can still be weeknight classics.
- Lastly, order a box of allplants for meals are completely vegan and 100% delicious, meaning you’ll have a set of meals in the week ready and chef-prepared for you to tuck straight into— a flexi-feast.
By Toni Olukiran
Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.