What’s on Your Plate?

In ancient times, every civilization had different external conditions such as lifestyles, agricultural activities, and trade relations causing them to form unique food cultures. For instance, Turkish nomads in Anatolia are known to be engaged in animal breeding therefore, their eating habits usually revolved around meat and dairy. On the other hand, cultures adopted diets because of internal factors like religion, where we may give Hinduism’s approach to cow meat as an example. However, there is one more significant element that we face a lot in today’s world and must examine: self values. Self values and beliefs bring new eating styles into existence.

In this week’s writing, we will look through each eating style and understand its philosophy.

Vegetarianism

The practice of excluding meat, poultry, and seafood from your diet for environmental and moral purposes. According to ancient records, it was first mentioned by the Greek philosopher Pythagoras around 500 BCE. Centuries later in England, the first vegetarian society got together. As of 2021, 14% of the world population is vegetarian.


Veganism

The practice of eating plant-based meals and avoiding all kinds of animal products. Veganism aims to raise awareness about animal cruelty. Early on, it was seen as a strict subbranch of vegetarianism. In November 1944, under The Vegan Society veganism was officially established. Around 8% of the world is vegan.


Pescetarianism

The practice of eating vegetables, grains, and fruits like vegetarians, distinctively they may eat seafood. The name comes from the Italian word “pesce” which means fish. Marcion, a Christian theologist, believed that fish was a holy food and must be consumed.


Flexitarianism

(Also referred to as semi-vegetarianism)

Being vegetarian with occasional meat and seafood consumption. As you might guess, the origin of the word is “flexible”. This eating style believes that sometimes humans should take a break from their continuous actions. Since it promotes being relaxed and also being healthy, dietitians believe that it is a good option to start a plant-based diet. Baby steps!


Macrobiotic

The practice of balancing yin and yang nutrients. The belief comes from Zen Buddhism that encourages you to eat locally grown food in their seasons, reduce animal-based products, and control your consumption. The diet was popularised by Ohsawa in the late 1930s.

 

Melis Ata