According to a new study, consumers in the UK are eating almost 17 grams less red meat daily than they were a decade ago.
Researchers from the University of Oxford said that this figure represents a decrease of 17 percent since 2008/9.
Seventeen grams of meat is equivalent to about half a rasher of typical supermarket back bacon.
Researchers said Britons have reduced their red meat intake, while their consumption of white meat such as chicken and fish has increased.
And the 17 per cent cut shows the UK still has a long way to go to meet the 30 per cent reduction over 10 years that was set out in the National Food Strategy earlier this year.
Speaking after the report was published, Green Party MP Carolyn Lucas said the target should be seen as a “minimum” if Britain is serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the farming and food industries.
The study, from Oxford’s Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, used data reported between 2008/09 and 2018/19 in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) rolling out programme, the only survey that measures nationally on food consumption within the UK. Captures representative data.
paper, published in Lancet Planetary Health The Journal looked at data collected from a four-day food diary on Thursday.
Average daily meat consumption in the UK decreased by about 17.4g per capita (from 103.7g to 86.3g) between 2008/09 and 2018/19.
This included an absolute reduction of 13.7 g of red meat (37.4 g to 23.7 g) and 7.0 g of processed meat (33.8 g to 26.8 g), as well as an increase of 3.2 g of white meat (32.5 g to 35.7 g). Yes).
The proportion of individuals who identified as vegetarian or vegan increased by 3 percent over the same period (2 to 5 percent).
The observed changes may be associated with reductions in environmental indicators, the researchers said, although “much more needs to be done to achieve substantial reductions.”
The study also looked at differences in total meat consumption within different sub-groups of the population.
The researchers found that white people and those born in the 1980s and 1990s had the highest meat intake compared to minority ethnic groups and those born in other decades.
Despite being the lowest consumer in the first seven survey years, those born after 2000 were the only subgroup to have increased meat consumption over time.
The team found no difference in intake by gender or household income, possibly because they looked at the difference as a percentage of food energy and focused only on total meat consumption.
Christina Stewart, a researcher at the University of Oxford who led the study, says: “Worldwide, meat consumption is changing: average consumption per capita is increasing, but meat consumption is slowing in many high-income countries such as the UK. – Decreasing slowly.
“Our results show a shift from red and processed meat to white meat in the UK, which is in line with health advice, but we are a long way from consuming a healthy sustainable diet.”
Ms Stewart said: “To put this in context, the National Food Strategy calls for a 30 per cent reduction in overall meat consumption over the next ten years, while other research has estimated a reduction in beef consumption in the UK alone. A reduction of 89. percent is needed to keep us within planetary limits.
“It is clear that we need to focus more on changing dietary habits to reduce the amount of food we eat if these goals are to be met.”
Environmental NGO Greenpeace welcomed the news that red meat consumption had declined, but said the pace of change “has not been fast enough in light of the nature and climate crises.”
Anna Jones, Forest Chief at Greenpeace UK Granthshala: “The consumption of white meat, which promotes deforestation and worsens climate and nature emergencies, is also increasing alarmingly. We must reduce the consumption of all meat, which along with dairy farming is the biggest driver of global deforestation, not just red meat.
“In a year when the UK is hosting important climate talks, UK companies and government must step up, reduce meat consumption and tackle the role of industrial meat and dairy in climate and nature emergencies.”
She said: “Supermarkets should stop sourcing meat from forest destroyers and reduce overall meat sales. The government should stop deforestation-linked products from entering the country and the UK should switch to a more sustainable diet.” should follow the advice of the National Food Strategy, leading to a drastic reduction in the consumption of all meat.
A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We are helping our farmers produce food in a sustainable manner while providing environmental improvements.
“Well-managed livestock provide various environmental benefits. Both meat and dairy can be an important part of a balanced diet.
“We recognize the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions made by the livestock and dairy sectors, and there is work underway on things like feed additives that can help reduce emissions.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /