Flexitarianism, our new way of living by Isabelle Nougier-Gallen
As a flexitarian we eat mostly plant based foods, but also consume meat and fish once or twice a week. It’s a great way to try to limit the impact on the environment. 39% of French people declared themselves to be flexitarian last year (+5% vs 2017). The trend is increasing, which is great for public health and the environment.
A study from the University of Oxford showed the importance of being responsible with our food consumption and take a more conscious approach. There are many vegetarian and vegan families, but that is currently not achievable for my family. We are French and our cheese, butter & pastries are sacred to us!
However, our first step has been to drastically reduce our meat consumption. We no longer buy meat but give our son the option to have it at the school canteen. We have a large veggie patch at home where we grow organic fruits and vegetables. Our chickens walk freely in the garden and give us a great supply of eggs. For all other fruits and vegetables, we go to local organic producers, respecting the seasonal production. New local organic stores with bulk products have recently opened which gives us the opportunity to limit our waste too, by using paper bags and glass containers.
At first, our friends and family felt a bit uneasy about our choices. It’s not common in France to cut out meat from your diet. But now, thanks to all the media, our friends and family have a better understanding of why we choose to be flexitarians. We have even noticed changes in their consumption habits too. It’s no longer strange to serve vegetarian dishes at a family reunion! And even our kids are finding it normal. I saw my son explain to his grandparents that he doesn’t need to have a sausage since he had one earlier that week at the school canteen.
I’m very proud to see people changing their habits and become more and more aware of the need to eat less animal products and choose organic options for our health and the environment. I know we are still doing baby steps, but it’s in the right direction.
Bio: Isabelle Nougier-Gallen is a French Mum of 2 boys, trying very hard to have a third, reinventing herself, career changing and focusing on giving more sense of what matters the most: family, friends, community and arts.