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Flexitarianism or Flexitarism is a semi-vegetarian diet in which people do not eat meat one or more days a week, just like the majority of human carnivores.


Different definitions of flexitarianism are used. According to the Dutch environmental organisation Natuur & Milieu, a flexitarian eats no meat, fish or lunch meat for at least one day a week.[1] The Dutch research agency I&O Research calls people flexitarian when they do not eat meat one or more days a week. The Dutch Food Health authority Voedingscentrum states that flexitarians do not eat meat (but do eat fish) three or more days a week in between or with a hot meal.[2]


In 2015, according to the Voedingscentrum, 55% of Dutch people were flexitarians.[3] According to Natuur & Milieu, in 2016, 67% of the Dutch were flexitarian.[1] According to research by Wageningen University & Research, the number of Dutch people who call themselves flexitarians increased from 14% in 2011 to 43% in 2019. However, the number of days that self-proclaimed flexitarians ate meat increased over that period from 2.9 days a week to 3.7 days. The researchers suspected that this was mainly due to the inflation of this term among the Dutch.[4]

According to a study by LEI Wageningen UR, the proportion of Dutch people who eat meat daily decreased from 26.7% to 18.4% between 2010 and 2012.[5] According to a study by Dutch research agency Motivaction at the beginning of June 2012, reducing meat consumption is a conscious choice for 35% of the Dutch. 14.8% of the population ate meat no more than one or two days a week.[5] In Flanders, 1 in 6 people in 2013 do not eat meat one or more days a week. A quarter opts for a meat-free day at least once a month.


In 2003, the American Dialect Society chose the word flexitarian as the most useful word of the year.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Onderzoek: 67% Nederlanders is flexitarier" (in Dutch). Natuur & Milieu. 2016-09-29. Archived from the original on 2017-04-15. Retrieved 2021-10-02.
  2. ^ "Eet de flexitariër soms een broodje aap?". Mountainview Research (in Dutch). 2020-03-09. Retrieved 2021-10-02.
  3. ^ "Meer dan de helft van de Nederlanders is 'flexitariër' | Voedingscentrum". www.voedingscentrum.nl. Retrieved 2021-10-02.
  4. ^ "Factsheet Consumptiecijfers en aantallen vegetariërs | Vegetariersbond" (in Dutch). De Nederlandse Vegetariërsbond. June 2020. Retrieved 2021-10-02.
  5. ^ a b Hans Dagevos, Jantine Voordouw, et.al, Vlees vooral(snog) vanzelfsprekend: Consumenten over vlees eten en vleesminderen. LEI Wageningen UR, juni 2012
  6. ^ "2003 Words of the Year". American Dialect Society. 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2007-12-03.