Health: How to be Flexitarian

Bristol24/7, June 1, 2016

If you are happy to eat vegetarian food most of the time but prefer not to give up the occasional indulgence in meat, fish or poultry then you are a Flexitarian. The word Flexitarian was coined in the 90’s to describe this relaxed alternative to full on vegetarianism. 

The Flexitairian philosophy is one of “less is more”. They advocate cutting down on quantity and improving the quality of any meat purchased. In other words – buying less makes it easier to afford local, higher welfare, produce and support the lives of both animals and farmers.

Local campaigning group, Flexitarian Bristol, are encouraging us to change our eating habits to make Bristol the UK’s first Flexitarian City. They hope to reduce meat consumption in individuals and organisations. Their approach is to encourage sustainable, local and healthy food procurement in organisations such schools and hospitals as well restaurants and cafes. You can check their website’s Restaurant Award map to find Bristol eateries offering fewer but better quality meat dishes to find a wide range of enticing options which do not rely on meat, fish or cheese. 

Many vegetarians and Vegans believe that regular meat consumption, especially of processed and red meats, is a major cause of ill health. Flexitarian Bristol reckon that by no longer building our main meals around meat – we can lower rates of cancer, heart disease and obesity. 

Flexitarian Bristol runs workshops for adults and children in how to enjoy good quality, low carbon, meat-free meals. Last year they toured a series of pop-up cooking events across Bristol in how to cook easy-to-make, healthy, veggie meals. This dietary downshift is also being promoted as a way to support improved animal welfare and benefit the environment.

Last December they took the Brilliant Bean workshop to Parson Street Primary School and got pupils between 4 and 9 to make their own healthy snacks – including Traffic Light hummus.

run workshops to bring people together to cook and eat great food, and maintain a healthier, more environmentally-friendly diet. Check their website for details of outdoor cooking at Arnos Vale cemetery in April and May. Volunteers are welcome.

Livestock production is a major factor in global warming. To check the environmental benefit of deciding to commit to regular meat free days you can go to the Part-time Carnivore website and calculate how much land, water and C02 your pledge will save.

For more information see: flexibristol.org

 

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