UK Health Agency Says Eat Less Meat. USA Is Not So Sure.


Image credit: Procsilas Moscas, used under Creative Commons license.

A British official once famously stated that we should eat less meat to help slow climate change. Now the government has taken this rather politically-charged bull by the horns—if you'll pardon the analogy—and openly stated that we should eat less meat for our health too. When are US dietary guidelines going to do the same?Obviously, with the food and farming lobbies being as powerful as they are in both countries, it's no easy thing for a government to suggest that consumers should move away from eating meat. But Marion Nestle reports over at Food Politics that the new UK dietary guidelines explicitly state that cutting back red meat consumption can reduce risk of cancer:

The report concludes that the link "probably" exists and that:

Adults with relatively high intakes of red and processed meat (around 90 g/day or more) should consider reducing their intakes. A reduction to the UK population average for adult consumers (70 g/day cooked weight) would have little impact on the proportion of the adult population with low iron intakes.

How much is 90 grams? It is only three ounces of cooked meat.

With even Anthony Bourdain saying we should eat less meat, you would think that the USDA would also step up and recommend that consumers cut back on red meat too. But, as Nestle notes, in the US the guidelines only go so far as to use euphemisms like "choose lean meats", consider "seafood instead of some meats", or "reduce calories from solid fats."

I guess it's up to somebody else to tell it like it is.

More on Meat Eating and Sustainability
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The Offal Truth: Would You Eat Guts, Brains and Genitalia?
Why Graham Hill is a Weekday Vegetarian, and You Should Be Too
Vegetarian Diet Could Cut Climate Change Mitigation Costs by 70 Percent

Tags: Agriculture | Ethical | Farming | United Kingdom | Vegan | Vegetarian

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