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The report investigates consumers’ meat eating patterns, the relationship with BMI, and their willingness to eat less meat or to eat meat that they may perceive to be ‘better’ in some way – eg. organic or free range.
In April 2014 the Food Climate Research Network organised a workshop, funded and hosted by the Wellcome Trust with additional support from the Food Security programme of the UK research councils. Its aim was to bring people together to develop a research agenda on how our eating practices might be shifted in healthier and more sustainable directions. Particular emphasis was placed on meat eating as an exemplar of an important, yet difficult aspect of our consumption practices, and one with a strong bearing on health and sustainability.
This EU brief looks at a recent study assessing the social environmental impacts of agricultural imports to EU from other, often less developed countries. The EU has thus picked up on an important study assessing Europen diets' contribution to excessive land-use in countries outside of the European Union. FCRN has previously highlighted this study (Balancing virtual land imports by a shift in the diet. Using a land balance approach to assess the sustainability of food consumption).
This Dutch study looks at consumers’ potential preferences for snacks made from a range proteins with lower environmental impact and segments according to their values and attitudes to food. In this hypothetical experiment, people could choose between written descriptions of a range of snacks containing lentils or beans, seaweed, insects or a combination of meat and a non-specified meat substance. The study found that a hybrid meat product may be preferred by many consumers before insects or seaweed. The researchers found that, overall, people who tended to eat more meat were less likely to choose the lentils and seaweed snacks while those who ate more fish were more likely to choose the seaweed snack.
The Meat Atlas, produced by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and Friends of the Earth, examines the many aspects of the global meat system and aims to add to the debate on the need for better, safer and more sustainable food and farming. It presents a global perspective on the impacts of industrial meat and dairy production and illustrates its negative impacts on society and the environment. The report also describes possible solutions at both individual and political level.
The SAI (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative) has launched its principles for Sustainable Beef Farming at the “Beefing up Sustainability” seminar on 26th November 2013. These principles represent the food industry’s position on achieving sustainability in beef farming. The ambition is that the principles will lead the way to beef production that is better able to help protect the environment,and deliver improved social and economic conditions for farmers, their employees and local communities.
The European Union is funding a project entitled PROteINSECT to investigate the efficacy and safety in using insect protein as a source of animal feed. The project will also investigate the potential for using insects for human consumption. Currently insect protein is only allowed in shellfish feed within the EU and forbidden for other animal feed or for human consumption.
The European Commission has announced funding for three major research projects designed to promote innovation in the meat and livestock sector. The funding will come from EU’s outgoing Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.
This study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examines the approaches taken by NGOs in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden to encourage consumers to reduce their meat consumption in light of climate change.
This video from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), features ILRI director general Jimmy Smith talking on the role of livestock in the global development agenda.
The 13 minute film points out that 4 of the top 5 agricultural commodities by value are livestock, and that in Africa, 4 of the top 10 agricultural commodities are livestock which indicates the importance of livestock for the global food and poverty agenda. The presentation also considers the challenges posed by rising demand for meat.