Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Meat, eggs and alternatives

Meat, eggs and new alternatives such as soy-meat, Quorn, or lab-grown meat are foods that are often rich in protein and essential micronutrients. However they may also be high in saturated fat and, when processed, in salt. Consumption of meat is very high in most high income countries and is on the rise in middle income countries. While an overly high consumption is associated with ill-health and disease, in countries where people’s diets are lacking in diversity and essential micronutrients – as is the case in many low income countries – animal products can play an important nutritional role. Meat products are also associated with very high GHG emissions; farmed animals contribute some 14.5% of human-made GHG emissions. Animal production also contributes to many other negative environmental impacts including deforestation and associated biodiversity loss, land degradation and soil and water pollution. The production of animals for slaughter and use also raises a complex set of ethical and welfare issues.

22 January 2018

At the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) 2018, the director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) spoke about the need for lower emissions from the livestock industry. In addition to efficiency gains, Graziano da Silva suggested that governments target the demand side with policies that reduce meat and dairy consumption. He said that alternative sources of protein, such as fish and pulses, are available and should be used.

21 January 2018

These are two articles on a new study by researchers at the London School of Economics which showed that people who ordinarily eat meat or fish were 56 percent less likely to order dishes in a separate ‘vegetarian section’ on a menu than those same dishes when mixed with meat and fish dishes.

21 January 2018

The report ‘Redefining protein: adjusting diets to protect public health and conserve resources’ looks at different protein sources and their environmental, health and social impact. The authors note that ‘transitioning to diets with more plant-based ingredients is an essential action to promote health, food security, and long-term environmental sustainability. However, the impact on health and sustainability outcomes can vary depending on the types of foods with which meats are replaced.’  This report summarises and analyses the available academic literature on the impacts of whole food protein options alternative to meat, with an emphasis on legumes, nuts and seeds, eggs, seafood, and dairy.

15 January 2018

In November 2017, in response to the FCRN’s report Grazed and Confused, the Eating Better Alliance brought together a range of researchers and civil society to discuss pasture farming and in particular its contribution to climate change. The meeting began with a presentation by Tara Garnett. It was organised because Eating Better was keen to have a discussion about the implications of this research for civil society messaging toward ‘less and better’ meat and dairy, and farming in pasture-based livestock systems.

13 January 2018

This report by Dutch bank ING considers the potential for a protein shift away from animal to plant protein. It finds that a quarter of EU consumers expects to eat less meat in five years’ time, mainly because of the concerns about the associated negative health effects. In addition, it poses that a further shift in consumer preferences is likely as the level of innovation in alternative protein is high and governments are increasingly concerned about the carbon footprint of diets.

8 January 2018

This edition of Newshour Extra hosts a panel of experts to discuss whether 'the pleasures of eating meat are worth the costs.'

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12 December 2017

This piece by the international NGO Futures Centre highlights the emergence of some innovative solutions that could help the transition to a sustainable protein consumption and production system.

28 November 2017

The top five mega-corporations responsible for factory-farmed meat and dairy are responsible for emitting more combined greenhouse gases (GHGs) than Exxon, or Shell, or BP. That is according to findings released in a joint study undertaken by IATP and GRAIN.

14 November 2017

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, schools chancellor Carmen Fariña and Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams announced that 15 Brooklyn schools will participate in Meatless Mondays in spring 2018. The program will provide participating schools with healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday. The NYC mayor, First Lady Chirlane McCray and Gracie Mansion will also go meatless for all Monday meals.

25 September 2017

This is a revised edition of a book on meat production edited by Joyce D'Silva and John Webster. Since its first edition in 2010, all chapters have been updated and six new chapters have been added .

7 June 2017

This paper proposes a solution to the problems associated with the high inefficiencies and indirect detrimental environmental impacts caused by reactive nitrogen use in agriculture.The researchers suggest that land-based agriculture could be bypassed and that Haber Bosch derived nitrogen could be used directly for reactor based microbial protein production. The advantages of microbial protein production are summarised, as are the opportunities and technical challenges for large-scale production. The authors emphasise that, aside from the scientific innovation required, the main challenge to address is obtaining acceptability from regulators and consumers.

26 May 2017

This report from The Eating Better Alliance looks at the role of business in leading the way to help people make healthy and sustainable choices, including shifting to more plant-based eating with less and better meat.

26 May 2017

This paper compares stylised, hypothetical dietary scenarios to assess the potential for reducing agricultural land requirements. It suggests that a combination of smaller shifts in consumer diet behaviour – such as reducing beef consumption by replacing with chicken, introducing insects into mainstream diets and reducing consumer waste – could reduce agricultural land requirements.

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