Health Care

90% Cut In Red Meat Consumption Crucial To Avoid Climate Crisis, Study

90% Cut In Red Meat Consumption Crucial To Avoid Climate Crisis, Study”

The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health brings together more than 30 world-leading scientists from across the globe to reach a scientific consensus that defines a healthy and sustainable diet.

The strategy also discusses humanity's responsibility to have strong and co-ordinated governance of land and oceans by implementing a zero-expansion policy of new agricultural land into natural ecosystems and species-rich forests, and underlines the importance of halving food losses and waste in line with UN Sustainable Development goals.

One of the study's authors, Professor Tim Lang, said that humans are now "getting this very wrong".

"We can include millets and also ensure that there is no imbalance in the consumption of fruits and vegetables".

Dr Walter Willett, of Harvard Medical School, one of the lead authors of the report funded by the Wellcome Trust, said the diet is achievable.

Based on a 2,500 calories a day diet, the targets consist of a daily combined intake of up to 60 per cent in carbohydrates, such as whole grains, 15 per cent in protein, such as meat, eggs and fish, with the remainder coming from fruit and vegetables, added fats and added sugars. "More than 800 million people have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and disease".

He added that we are, at the minute, in a "catastrophic situation". "That's because this reduces unhealthy parts of the diet but substantially increases health-promoting parts of the diet".

For three years, 37 experts from 16 countries have been working on the report released onWednesday.

On dairy, the report notes high intake of dairy products, at least three servings per day, has been widely promoted in western counties for bone health and fracture prevention, primarily due to their high calcium content.

Average consumption of red meat in Britain would have to drop by 77 per cent from its current 62g a day. While it agreed food waste should be reduced, the Animal Agriculture Alliance said cutting animal protein could "risk worsening malnutrition, increasing food waste, and distracting from the highest priorities for addressing greenhouse gas emissions".

At the same time, "global food production threatens climate stability and ecosystem resilience and constitutes the single largest driver of environmental degradation and transgression of planetary boundaries", they argue.

He pointed out that red meat contains an efficient package of essential nutrients important for the body and any suggestion that we should further reduce our intake below the recommenced government levels "could have unintended detrimental consequences on health".

For individual regions, this could mean even more dramatic changes: People in North America, for example, eat nearly 6.5 times the recommended amount of red meat, while people in South Asia eat only half the amount suggested by the planetary diet.

Global targets will need to be applied locally. Average population intake in the United Kingdom is now below this figure.

Today's meat-heavy diets could soon be a thing of the past, as experts say we need to shift away from guzzling meat and adopt a "planetary health diet" to safeguard Earth.

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