Knowledge for better food systems

BBC podcast from Wellcome Collection: Should We All Be Vegetarians?

BBC’s Claudia Hammond and Tim Cockerill hosted an event at the Wellcome Collection that can now be listened to online.

This is the event description:

As more people in the West are becoming vegetarian or vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, we ask if this is a sustainable option globally. The impact on the environment of a family giving up meat in a western country would be the same as not driving a small car for a year. In the US the average person eats over 100Kg of meat annually whilst in developing countries this is 13Kg. The protein and micronutrients from animals in poor rural communities make an important contribution to the diets of impoverished families. Chickens also provide local women with an income source. How can the worlds of veganism and meat eating be reconciled and what can the archaeological bones of chickens tell us about how animal welfare has changed?

Speakers included:
Jimmy Smith, Director General of International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya
Holly Miller, archaeologist, (expert on the history of chickens), Nottingham University
Matthew Cole, sociologist, Open University, and former chair of the Vegan Society
Dr Peter Scarborough, Senior Researcher, British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches for Non-Communicable Disease Prevention

You can listen to the programme here.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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