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Are you what you eat?

Professor in food distribution and policy says food choices are getting more complicated

At CropSphere in Saskatoon in January, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois from the University of Dalhousie talked about food trends at a keynote presentation.

“The three-meal institution is dying,” he said. While he does know that people still buy cookbooks, Charlebois sees no signs that people are cooking.

However, people are paying more attention to what they eat. People are defining themselves as flexitarian (people who are deliberately trying to decrease the red mean they consume), pescatarian (people who don’t eat meat but do eat fish), vegetarians (who don’t eat meat or fish), or vegans (who don’t eat meat, fish, dairy or eggs).

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“It’s only going to get more complicated,” Charlebois said.

For now, he said, there are only about 533,000 vegans in Canada. However, when asked in a survey if they’ve tried a plant-based product, such as the meatless burgers available at A&W, 41 per cent of people surveyed said yes. When they were asked if they tried it a second time, 23 per cent said yes. “Not everyone is jumping on the bandwagon,” Charlebois said, “but when you add five or six per cent a year, it grows.”

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