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Flexitarian Fever

20 May, 2022

There’s no shortage of evidence that eating less meat is better for the planet: from research showing the scale of emissions from food production and the comparative impact of different foods to recommendations from the IPCC and the UK’s Committee on Climate Change to reduce meat consumption.

And it’s a challenge that people in the UK are rising to. This week’s National Vegetarian Week will be a breeze for the 7.2 million people already eating a meat-free diet, and potentially the push that the further 1.6 million planning to go meat-free in 2022 need.

But for many people, suddenly dropping meat is no piece of cake. The habits of a lifetime are deeply rooted, while food is steeped in cultural and social significance. As a result, there is considerable baggage that comes with identities including vegetarian and vegan, as Jack Whitehall found out. But even from an environmental perspective, there are no absolute truths about what is better – food is complex.

Despite this, the need to reduce meat consumption is clear, and National Vegetarian Week provides helpful information on delicious recipes, talks and veggie products and discounts. And even for people put off by vegetarianism – gastronomically or politically – there is something for everyone to help their potentially more palatable challenge of simply reducing meat consumption.

By Patrick Bapty

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