Jessica Fellowes wrote an article for the UK's Telegraph yesterday ("The New Vegetarianism: Introducing the flexitarian") that implies the opposite. Well, that's all over the place with it, anyway. Fellowes is a writer who, according to her website, specializes in luxury lifestyle pieces. It gets a little tricky when a luxury lifestyles writer takes it upon herself to spread misinformation about nutrition, sometimes stating that ever-convenient (and elusive) source "anecdotal evidence" to back up her claims.
In her piece, she applies the term 'vegetarian' to meat-eaters often , while touting occasional meat-eating as the healthy option (e.g. "Polly is one of a growing number of vegetarians who occasionally eat meat – for the sake of the nutrients that such a diet provides"). She spins the movement as follows:
"Families who now 'go flexitarian' a couple of times a week have come together with pragmatic veggies to create a new breed of health-conscious consumers."Pragmatic veggies?? So, actual vegetarians who don't eat meat can't be pragmatic? How could they be, I guess, when Fellowes tells the reader that 'vegetarianism' is a term that conjures up "images of strict mealtimes reliant on flavourless soya-based products" and that unless a vegetarian diet is planned methodically, protein and amino acid deficiencies will follow. And besides, according to her "anecdotal evidence" everybody knows that "numerous vegetarians sneak the occasional sliver of flesh on to their plates" anyway so it's obvious that it just doesn't work.
To convey the health benefits of occasional meat eating, Fellowes' article references an interior designer whose name she says "has been changed so as not to devastate her mother". This vegetarian-raised designer ended up reverting to eating meat after developing eczema, which her nutritionist blamed on dairy. The designer told her that without dairy, she was left "craving protein", so the obvious choice for her was to start eating meat again. According to Fellowes, this meant that she was then left consuming less "dairy and pasta" (pasta's a meat sub?) and enjoyed the added bonus of losing weight. Speaking of weight loss -- Fellowes cites a "nutrition consultant" called Ian Marber in her article (who of course advocates occasional meat eating -- but only happy meat eating, à la Pollan). A quick Google search for his name showed that he's a dieting guru who pushes weight loss books and supplements on his website.
Fellowes ends her article on that old typical "meat is yummy and I'm so clever" note, summing up her stance with a story about getting her protein by accidentally killing a pheasant while out driving and thus delightfully enjoying a free and tasty lunch. I wonder if, like a true Pollan-ite, she plucked and prepared the poor thing herself? I'm guessing not and that she probably didn't want to get her beloved Jimmy Choos dirty.