in , , ,

Flexitarier - happy with or without meat

Hissing, the steak glides into the pan, the pores of the raw meat contract, the wonderful smell of roast rises. Gorgeous, such a juicy steak. And no cow had to die, not even suffer, for this culinary treat. Impossible? Well, still this scenario is actually future music. But already in the next decade it could become reality. In vitro is the magic word that lets many chill down the spine.

Frankenstein sends his regards

Meat from animal cells, taken during a biopsy and grown in bioreactors - in any desired form. The enterprise Modern Meadow in the United States is working flat out to make this vision a reality. "Tissue engineering“Is the name of the technology with which wafer-thin layers of tissue should imitate, restore, preserve or improve organs in the not too distant future. The Missouri-based company wants to use organic ink, which contains different cell types, to form cutlets and steaks with a 3D printer. Meat from the printer. (Update: Here you will find a new report on the topic Art meat!)

If we put the first discomfort aside, it is an impressively sensible project from an ecological point of view. This year, animal husbandry is causing nine percent of global CO2 emissions and 37 percent of man-made methane emissions into the atmosphere. Pastures and arable land used for the production of animal feed occupy a third of the earth's surface.

Every Austrian consumes 66 kilograms of meat per year, 24 kilos more than the average world citizen. The United Nations forecasts that global consumption of meat, milk and dairy products will double in the first half of our century, then 465 million tons of meat and 1.043 million tons of milk per year. A horror scenario for all who love our world. Especially vegetarian and vegan consuming people, but also flexitarians, want to change that.

According to the German Society of Nutrition The quality of food for flexitarians plays a very important role. Accordingly, he avoids meat that is not from a species-appropriate attitude. According to another definition, all people who consume up to three portions of meat per week may call themselves flexitarians.

Who likes waiver?

However, only a minority of us will support abstract global well-being in general and that Welfare of the beast in particular, do without pork knuckle or schnitzel altogether. “It is said that a maximum of 25 percent of the population includes ethical aspects in their consumption behavior, regardless of whether it is organic, green electricity or whatever. The other 75 percent swim with the crowd, buy what is cheaper or use their neighbors, ”says Felix Hnat, chairman of the Austrian vegans. However, he does not despise the meat eaters. “I loved to eat a lot of meat for 18 years. I don't think it's right to judge people by what they eat. Five percent of Austrians try to reduce their meat consumption. That makes me happy. ”Supporters of the vegan diet, but also flexitarians, can be found mainly in the cities. The Vegan Society Austria estimates that 80.000 Austrians eat vegan, half of them live in Vienna.

Vegan is the new organic

Vegans not only do without meat and fish like the vegetarians, they also do not eat eggs and milk products, they do not even consume honey, because their guiding principle is not to exploit animals. A few years ago, vegans were either viewed as dangerous extremists or ridiculed as dreamy spinners. Experts no longer judge vegan nutrition as unhealthy. On the contrary. Our conventional diet must be considered harmful to health.

The main cause of death in Austria is diet-related diseases and these, in turn, are often related to animal fats and proteins. For example, red meat is considered a risk factor for cancer. Reasons for this could be contaminants such as dioxin enriched in meat and meat-specific substances such as the blood pigment hemoglobin, which increases the formation of harmful nitrogen compounds. Various studies have also shown that there is a connection between high blood pressure and meat consumption. And the widespread harmful overweight is rarely an issue for vegans. No wonder that more and more people are joining the trend towards consistently animal-free nutrition. "Our events such as trade fairs or our vegan summer festivals are literally overrun," reports Felix Hnat. "I think in 20 years vegan will be where organic is today. Vegan is the new organic! ”Flexitarians are trying to find a middle ground.

"I think Vegan will be in 20 years, where bio is today. Vegan is the new organic! "
Felix Hnat

The trend towards vegan nutrition makes the esteemed 40.000 vegans in Vienna an interesting consumer group. She and the many tourists in the city have lured Europe's first vegan supermarket chain to the capital. In June 2014 opened the first store of the chain "Veganz" in the fourth district. Already there is talk about a second branch. (Update: Veganz has closed at least in Austria and only trades online.)

Part-time vegetarian Flexitarier - enjoyment without remorse?

Despite the now diverse vegan offer, most people still can not imagine giving up meat, eggs, milk and honey altogether. Nevertheless, they are concerned about the welfare of the animals and their own. Already eleven years ago, the American Dialect Society named the word "flexitarian", a phrase from "fexible" and "vegetarian", as the most helpful word to describe a new phenomenon: vegetarians who occasionally eat meat. According to the German Nutrition Society, the quality of food for flexitarians plays a very important role. Accordingly, he avoids meat that is not from a species-appropriate attitude. According to another definition, all people who consume up to three portions of meat per week may call themselves flexitarians.

Flexitarier: lazy compromise?

Flexitarians do not want to submit to a strict dogma. In principle, they feed healthy: soy and whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables determine their diet, but every now and then, it may also be a hefty piece of meat. This helps to reduce the use of land and blow greenhouse gases into the air. But critics accuse flexitans of being inconsistent. Their "as well as" approach does not support the move away from animal husbandry. But it is at least a start, because when it comes to meat consumption is essential: Less is more for flexitarians.

Here's a lot more about Health and sustainable consumption!

Photo / Video: Shutterstock.

Written by Jörg Hinners

Leave a Comment