About this Research Topic
Flexitarianism, is a portmanteau of flexible and vegetarianism and a term that has been emerging in scientific and public sectors recently. Whilst the over and under consumption of meat have each been associated with their own health implications flexitarianism seems to hit the middle ground, referring to an individual who follows a primarily but not strictly vegetarian diet, occasionally eating meat or fish. Flexitarianism is also regarded as being a more achievable dietary change than going vegetarianism and vegan.
The emerging trend of flexitarianism seems to recognise the fact that meat is enjoyed by many, and is a valuable source of macro and micronutrients yet also considers the ethical sides, such as the need to avoid intensification and improve animal welfare. Flexitarian diets also appears to encompass the fact that the alternative and sustainable sources of dietary protein are needed, due to the fact that the human population is both growing and ageing. These demands cannot be met and achieved sustainable by meat and fish alone.
Presently, the evidence-base tends to focus on ‘semi-vegetarian’ diets, or vegan and plant-based diets, typically in relation to markers of health. This present Research Topic in Frontiers in Nutrition calls for a pool of papers focusing specifically on flexitarianism and health. In particular, we are interested in methodologies used to define and categorise ‘flexitarians’, consumers understanding of what this term means and how such diets may be related to specific markers of health. We are also interested in emerging science looking at alternative protein sources and the embedment of flexitarian diets in the lay public.
The following Research Topic calls for papers focusing on:
o Consumer drift towards meat-free diets and lean meat.
o Inter-relationships between flexitarianism and health.
o Patterns in current meat intakes and factors driving current trends.
o Protein-based foods that are sustainable but not meat-derived.
o Meat designed for consumers for religious/other reasons.
o Refining methods to define flexitarianism.
Keywords: health, sustainability, environment