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BBC随身英语 第421讲 No meat, but two veg 素 本站原创 更新时间: 2012-10-06         

Successful businesses adopt the philosophy that the customer is always right and McDonald's, famous for serving hamburgers, hasn't ignored that. So much so that it is opening, next year, its first totally vegetarian restaurant in India.

About 40% of households in the country are vegetarian, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and the company, the world's second biggest food outlet, wants to beef up its operation.

''We just have 271 restaurants in India and across the world we have nearly 33,000'', said Rajesh Kumar Maini, a spokesman for the fast food chain in northern India.

Hindus see cows as sacred and abstain from eating beef, while Muslims view pigs as unclean and avoid pork. Since it decided to enter the market, McDonald's has tried not to risk ending up with egg on its face. The chain's Indian menu has some meat-free dishes and some that include chicken.

Vegetarianism has been around for centuries. According to the Vegetarian Society in Britain, the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras favoured the practice due to concerns about cruelty to animals. He also thought it could be a healthier lifestyle as it prevented men from being violent. Nowadays, the pressure on natural resources from rearing animals has been turning environmentally-conscious people into veggies.

Some people are even stricter about eating animal products than vegetarians. They are known as vegans and they do not eat dairy products and eggs either.

But some experts frown upon the idea of a meat-free diet. Dr Elizabeth Weichselbaum, a nutritional scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, says meat is an important source of a number of nutrients in our diet, including high quality protein, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin D and some B vitamins.

"It can make an important contribution to a healthy and balanced diet. Meat and other protein sources, including eggs, beans and nuts, should be eaten in moderate amounts."

Quiz 测验

Why has McDonald's decided to offer meat-free dishes in India?
Because about 40% of the households in India are vegetarian.

According to the article, which group of people abstains from eating pigs?
Muslims, because they consider pigs unclean.

Is the following statement true, false or not given? Some people, concerned about the over use of natural resources, have decided to become vegetarian.
True.

What expressions in the article include the name of a type of food but have a meaning that's nothing to do with food?
'To beef up' and 'with egg on its face'.

What phrasal verb used in the article means to disapprove of something?
To frown upon (something).

Glossary 词汇表

the customer is always right 顾客永远是对的
vegetarian 素食的
household 家庭,人家
outlet 销售点
to beef up 加强
fast food 快餐
with egg on (someone's) face (比喻)非常难堪,丢脸
meat-free dish 无肉的菜肴
vegetarianism 素食主义
to favour 赞同,倾向于
lifestyle 生活方式
to rear animals 饲养动物
veggie (俚语)素食主义者
vegan 绝对素食主义者
dairy 奶制品
to frown upon 不赞同
nutritional 营养
protein 蛋白质
iron 铁
zinc 锌
selenium 硒
balanced diet 均衡的饮食