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Poor Economy Spawns "Recession Flexitarians"

Poor Economy Spawns "Recession Flexitarians"

With cost increases, the economic downturn and a focus on all things green, could meatless meals be poised to become the next great food trend? Last month, Ghent, Belgium, made headlines when it became the first city to go meatless once a week. Then a recent vegetarianism poll generated surprising results: more than 25 percent of you said you're vegetarians, and nearly another quarter of you eat fish and not meat. But all of this comes as little surprise to Gourmet, which argues that the country's financial woes have prompted a new wave of meatless eaters: recession flexitarians.

More than half the shoppers surveyed by the American Meat Institute say they have reduced the amount of meat they eat as a result of the economy. Many of them have become flexitarians, or mostly vegetarian consumers who occasionally eat meat. The USDA estimates that every category of farm animal will experience a drop in meat production for the first time in more than 35 years, and the publishing industry has seen a wave of new books focused on eating less meat.

Since forgoing meat will also help address increasingly popular issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, obesity, and world hunger, the growing number of meat-free eaters seems to make sense. Still, I can't help but wonder whether America will return to its steak-gnawing ways once the economy improves. What do you think? Have you found yourself eating less meat?


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3light3phoenix3 3light3phoenix3 8 years
Vegetarian for 3 years =), but I really hope this isn't just a wave or trend for countless reasons, I mean let's face it, isn't it about time America became a healthier nation?
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
:) That's great to hear!
jm1983 jm1983 8 years
I've been vegetarian (ovolactovegetarian) for two months now; however, it's not because of my economy but rather because of my well-being and love for animals! The truth is that my health is much better now (and I've lost some pounds on the way ;))
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
I've been a vegetarian for 5 years, I do it for animal rights, health, and environmental reasons. It was the best decision I ever made, it's made the greatest impact in my life. It saves me money, keeps me healthy and lean, saves the planet, saves the animals, gives me self confidence, and has significantly lowered the symptoms to my health issues. I encourage everyone to at least cut back on meat intake. If you're interested in faux meats, Quorn brand is the BEST.
danakscully64 danakscully64 8 years
"I've been a vegetarian since September and it's awesome. I have had meat here and there since then" Meat eating... vegetarian?
Munkeyhed Munkeyhed 8 years
I don't think I could give up steak~
ashmohan ashmohan 8 years
As money has become tight, it does make sense that people are leaning toward going meatless more frequently to cut costs. This connection between being vegetarian and spending less became quite obvious to me after I began interning with Meatless Monday, a nonprofit health initiative, which encourages cutting meat consumption to improve health, reduce carbon footprint, and cut costs. I think you’d be interested in the website which has a wealth of information, including delicious meatless recipes (featured this week, the Lotsa Green Lasagna:, cooking tips, and nutrition facts.
clareberrys clareberrys 8 years
I've been a vegetarian since September and it's awesome. I have had meat here and there since then (Turkey on THanksgiving, at a dinner party where there are no other options, etc.) but I really dont miss it at all. I feel better about my body not eating meat and I know that I'm having a positive impact on the environment as well. Now the next step is going organic....that's a lot more difficult and more expensive too. THere are so many good non-meat products (morning star is probably the best) and then of course i usually eat a salad or a veggie sandwich for lunch which has cut back on the calories too
psterling psterling 8 years
I would like to be a vegetarian for environmental reasons like tlsgirl but my husband won't give meat up entirely so we've been compromising too- meat 2-3 meals a week and veggie meals 4 times week. Its a bonus that its cheaper but not the reason we do it.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I've always been trying to eat less meat, even before the recession. BUT the recession and the lack of monies did spur me to even less than I was - simply because I can't afford it. The rest of my family still eats a ton of meat, but they're becoming more like flexitarians. My dad still cooks meat all the time, though - he saves on other things to buy meats. He saves on veggies too [and everything else!] by doing the price matching thing at Wal-Mart. So we have PLENTY more fruits and veggies - for a LOT cheaper! :D
Spectra Spectra 8 years
My grandma told me that during the Depression, it was the same thing...people ate a lot more beans and eggs and they'd stretch their meat as far as possible. No one ever called it being a flexitarian; it's just called EATING LESS MEAT. I've cut back considerably on how much meat I eat. I actually prefer nuts and beans and legumes and eggs over meat anyway.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I have, but it didn't have anything to do with the recession. We just decided to try it at my house because of the environmental impact of the meat industry - cutting down to only two individual meat meals per week. I still refuse to call myself a flexitarian though. All of these silly names that people have come up with...
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