To be veggie is in fashion. The term is all the rage on dishes and snacks, as well as in cocktails, in cookbooks and in restaurants. They are the usual vegetables, but arranged in such a way, cooked and, above all, seen with new eyes that they make them shine and make them an object of culinary desire.
Consuming too much meat or, better still, beginning to be aware of it, as well as its dire consequences in terms of health, environment and animal suffering has led us to take a better look at the vegetable kingdom.
What to do with a sad lettuce, and with some very juicy tomatoes but little tasty next to a good steak? Veggie philosophy, its know-how, has the answer. His proposal is groundbreaking: instead of bloating ourselves to meat, let's enjoy vegetables.
According to data from the study "The Green Revolution" 7.8 percent of the adult population in Spain is considered "veggie" and their motivations are both health, ethical reasons "cruelty-free" or the environment. In figures, 57 percent of vegetarians are for animalistic reasons, 21 percent to improve environmental protection and 17 percent for health reasons.
According to this same report, 35 percent of the population has decided to reduce its consumption of red meat, although the Spanish market is still in blankets. Traits of the veggie trend are observed at a much lower level than other countries that lead this movement, such as the United Kingdom or Germany.
The survey also detects a lack of veggie supply in the world of catering, a sector that has not yet adapted to the existing demand. On the other hand, contrary to popular belief, it is not an urban movement, since almost half of veggies do not live in big cities.
Within the great family of veggies many trends coexist, some more ecological than others. Among them, the vegetarian and the wide range of possibilities that include, from vegans (strict vegetarians) to the flexitarians (They eat fruits and vegetables within a vegetarian approach but without giving up meat), to give a couple of very different examples.
Therefore, being veggie does not necessarily mean being vegan, and therefore they are by no means synonymous. However, it can be stated to the contrary, since being vegan falls within the veggie option, a type of diet chosen by the "new middle classes", always according to the study, in which there are many young women and, in terms of work position, includes officials with university degrees, businessmen, managers, middle managers and university professors.
As with so many other things, in this ecology there are also degrees. Eating more vegetables is a good start, at least a priori, especially when it means reducing the consumption of meat, especially if it is red, since it is synonymous with more emissions and an unsustainable agricultural exploitation for that industry.
Indeed, overpopulation is not the only reason why it is untenable the consumption of meat. We must also take into account the emission of greenhouse gases, in addition to the fact that red meat is a "probable" carcinogen, according to the UN.
On the one hand, more ecological and sustainable agriculture will always be a plus when it comes to adding green points in the practice of the veggie option. It will not be the same either at the health level to feed ourselves with vegetables from organic agriculture.
Again, the different carbon footprints also play a role in organic products. Not only when it comes to producing the food, but also adding possible packaging, transportation and any other factor that adds or subtracts.
Outside the ecological we can also find differences between hydroponic and conventional agriculture, small local gardens and others that carry out the production and distribution processes following the methods of intensive agriculture.
In short, his thing is to take into account the life cycle of the products, as well as their greater or lesser safety to make better purchase decisions or, why not, in order to launch ourselves to grow our own food practicing organic farming .
Only then will it be possible to reach a conclusion valid, as we saw in a previous post dedicated to the importance of developing a more transparent and complete labeling, which provides valuable information in this regard.
The solutions to problems pointed out by the consumption of meat go beyond veggie as an alternative to Red meat Y processed. Other possibilities consist of going further and becoming vegan, in betting on other sources of protein, from those provided by legumes, laboratory meat or even insects to raising awareness about the importance of the three R's of ecology.
Specially in food issues It is important to throw away less food, as well as to reduce the consumption of meat and also the waste. And, of course, to do our bit while investing in health, we have within our grasp the choice to consume more fruits and vegetables, ideally and purchased in the local market.
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