Flexitarianism, a movement starting to take hold in France08-06-2017
A relatively recent culinary trend, flexitarianism, is widely advocated by supporters of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Flexitarianism is eating predominantly, but not strictly, vegetarian, so occasionally indulging in meat. Today, it can be seen among vegetable aficionados and fervent meat-eaters alike. A half-way house attracting increasing numbers of followers, it transcends generations and every social class, offering a diet where everyone can find foods in tune with their lifestyle, across a wide range of delicious, varied and creative recipes.
A movement born in the USA
Originating in the United States, this culinary movement progressively migrated to Europe, via the northern countries. In France, flexitarianism took a serious hold two or three years ago. “This semi- vegetarianism” has now been adopted by 30-40% of Americans, compared to only 3% dyed in the wool vegetarians, which means no meat, fish, eggs or other animal derivatives.”
Food, how does it work?
Flexitarianism can be interpreted on various different levels, depending on the choice of the individual. The accepted idea however is not eating meat at every meal, and reducing portion sizes. It is sometimes referred to as a “semi-vegetarian” diet to describe quasi-vegetarians who may eat meat on special occasions, at dinner parties and dining out for example. 80% vegetarian and meat-eater the rest of the time, the flexitarian movement promotes a varied diet, including meat, but not at every meal, or even every day. In other words, eating well without unnecessary deprivation while reaping the benefits of both food categories.
A category defined by innovation
In France, a number of brands have hastily jumped on the flexitarian bandwagon, namely organic brands. Bjorg Bonneterre & co. sell a range of meat-substitute foods made from vegetables. “For example, we make veggie burgers instead of steak burgers, and veggie nuggets, which are great served with vegetables,” explains Adeline Muller, Bonneterre’s marketing manager. Tartex, just one of the brands in their portfolio, is particularly popular among vegetarians. “A range of vegetable terrines has become a key product line for organic specialists in France, who are driven by the same objective: to deliver organic foods of exceptional quality that provide viable meat-alternative products for our everyday diet.”
The place to go flexitarian in Paris: the vegetarian butchers
Chicken breasts, meat skewers, burgers, lardons, all served without a hint of meat…Welcome to the “La Boucherie végétarienne” (vegetarian butchers) which has recently made Paris its home. Just a stone’s throw from the Aligre market, in a popular area for traditional butchers, the arrival of the vegetarian version has not gone unnoticed. They sell only “alternative-meat” soy or wheat-based products, frozen at -30°C to achieve real meat consistency. Having sampled the products, they are really very good, just like vegetarian food, or meat dishes. Everything has its place in the world of food.
Want to try a tasteful recipe without any meat ? Discover and try the stir-fry green aspargus and tofu by Bjorg