By Isabelle Nougier-Gallen
As a flexitarian family, we mostly eat plant-based foods, but continue to consume meat once or twice a week. In 2018, 39% of French people declared themselves to be on a flexitarian diet last year and the trend continues to increase. This is a great not only for the environment, but public health.
A study from the University of Oxford showed the importance of being responsible with our food consumption and necessity to take a more conscious approach to our diets. Whilst there are many vegetarian and vegan families out there, it's not currently achievable for my family - we are French - 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 as it’s not common in France to cut out meat from your diet. But now thanks to the media, our friends and family have a better understanding of why we chose to be flexitarians. We've 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 their health and the environment. I know we are still doing baby steps, but it’s in the right direction.
Isabelle Nougier-Gallen is a French Mum of 2 boys and trying very hard to have a third. She's reinventing herself, changing careers and focusing on giving more time to what matters most: her family, friends, community and the arts.
Find Isabelle @NotAstar_JustAMum