When I heard the word flexitarian for the first time I imaged a very “flexible” person. It brought back fond memories of playing the game “Twister” in the mid-60’s. This 1966 Hasbro game box cover provides one image of what it means to be a flexible but it didn’t speak to “flexitarian”.
I turned to my on-line Apple dictionary software for help but it was not helpful. I finally found a solid definition that I like. Here’s what I found at Dictionary.com:
Flexitarian [flěk'sĭ-târ'ē-ən]: One who normally maintains a vegetarian diet but occasionally makes exceptions and eats meat or fish (noun). Of or relating to a diet that is primarily vegetarian but includes meat or fish on occasion (adjective).
The recession (lurking depression?) has turned this definition around. Folks are finding that meat and/or fish products are expensive and that by serving vegetarian meals once or twice a week, they save money. Today’s flexitarian, therefore, might be better defined as one who normally maintains an omnivore diet but occasionally fixes meals completely devoid of meat or fish.
So I ask this question: could the recession be taking a bite out of meat consumption? Gourmet Magazine says that ”more than half of Americans have cut back on meat, many becoming recession-bred flexitarians." It goes on to imply that recession-bred flexitarians are people who use meat as a condiment not as a meal anchor. Even Martha Stewart recently broadcast a meatless Thanksgiving show to be enjoyed by vegetarians, carnivores and flexitarians.
If the recession is taking a bite out of meat consumption, perhaps it is also having a positive effect on the American diet! This could be good. This could be very good. My New Year resolution is to incorporate my mantra into my daily routine with even more vigor than before.
Eat well. Eat local. Eat fresh! I invite you, flexitarian or fellow vegetarian, to join me.