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Are you a flexitarian?

by on April 3, 2013

Are you a flexitarian?

Another good article by Mark Bittman


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  1. I really enjoyed this article. I can completely relate to the problem I frequently run into of traveling and not being able to find someplace quick and healthy to eat. I think our fast food sector in America is definitely exploring healthier options as Bittman suggested, but I still think it has a long way to go. I know that our society views fast food as not only being fast, but also cheap. This seems to be a huge problem when trying to come up with healthier solutions to fast food chains. In Foer’s book, we are learning a lot about factory farming and what it really takes to be able to produce meat that stays as cheap as it does. I think the fact that meat is so cheap may seem like a good thing to many people, but in reality it is only increasing the consumption of meat and the continuous demand for cheap meat. I think that as a society the first step we need to take is getting the information about what we are actually consuming out there. I think that many Americans are not aware of how unnatural meat is produced in our society. Once people are more aware, I would imagine that there would be more of an understanding that meat produced in the humane and healthy way cannot be as cheap as it is, and we are just going to have to accept that. I also think that the cheap prices of meat are causing us to over consume meat. As Bittman mentioned his flexitarian diet, he pointed out that nutrition wise, there is a certain amount of protein that we should be consuming, and we ten to greatly exceed that amount.
    What also struck me about this article was the fact that we so often try to imitate meat by making “chicken”, veggie burgers, etc. Although I definitely take part in this, it makes me wonder why we are so obsessed with this idea of meat being so great. It is almost ironic that some vegans and vegetarians are ethically opposed to eating meat, yet they enjoy products that look, taste, and smell like meat. I am not criticizing this people in any way, because as I said I take part in this as well even though I’m neither vegan or vegetarian, but I do think that after reading Bittman and Foer’s pieces, it does seem a bit silly. I think we really need to take a deeper and more conscious look at food, the way we eat it, how we produce it, etc. I think that rationally we should lean more towards simplistic basic ingredients that are real, rather than constantly trying to mimic or hide it.

  2. I sympathize with mrcoti13, who struggles finding “fast food” or food on the go that is vegetarian. Since turning gluten free almost two years ago, I’ve run into this same problem on road trips or vacations. My family can’t simply stop anywhere for a bagel or something quick to hold me over. We always have to pack food and be prepared. Despite all our preparation, sometimes, we run into challenges trying to find me something to eat. Now, after this unit, I’ve started trying to eliminate meat from my diet and already noticed the challenges of finding foods even in sit down restaurants.
    Bittman’s research is clearly a thorough investigation into alternative “good fast food” sources (a term he coined). Despite these places efforts I think there is a major issue at hand that we will never be able to get past in this economic climate: cost. Bittman mentions several times that these locations were pricey. He claims he “thinks” they will eventually be able to drop prices but, as a frequent Whole Foods shopper (or as my family calls “Whole Check”), organic is expensive. Furthermore, its trendy and anything “on trend” is a money maker. Being organic is largely a fad right now, which makes it less affordable. I think these initiatives are great and wonderful for organic eaters like me, but in reality, it’s a longshot as a sustainable option.

  3. I can relate to the comments above. It is always a struggle to find healthy and affordable food options on the road. This is also a lived reality of students at Holy Cross after 8pm, where we are left to choose between fried foods or more fried foods. Like Foer’s diet of conscientious inconsistency, flexitarian is a title that doesn’t sound too bad to me. I find that many individuals are confronted between using food as ritual as opposed looking at food as a loaded decision. I guess that consumerist America doesn’t care about the implications of our consumption habits, food or not.
    In a previous course on Global Culture and Society, we looked at many countries implementing slow food restaurants and resisting fast food eateries altogether. France is an example that comes to mind most distinctly. The Europeans know how to enjoy the pleasures of life, especially a freshly prepared meal. In my parent’s home country, Dominican Republic, businesses and schools close from 12 noon to 2pm in order for people to have meals at home. Wouldn’t it be nice if our country valued meals with loved ones enough to close down institutions to make time for it?

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