Recent advice is that, to ‘save’ the planet, we in the developed nations should eat meat at most four times a week; but we should also recognise the current fundamental economic centrality of meat in many parts of the developing world.
Discussion of these recommendations has produced some interesting ideas about what might constitute almost zero carbon food, even zero carbon meat. Hill grazing sheep, jellied eels and lobster aquaculture are amongst the food items and techniques proposed.
Today marks the start of UK National Vegetarian Week. The arguments for a balanced vegetarian diet are persuasive – it ‘saves’ energy, it uses less carbon and water, it can respect the seasons, it has potential to make a huge contribution to resolving global hunger, and it’s good for us. So how can vegetarianism become more often the diet of choice?
Food is rising rapidly up the agenda. Allotments, biofuels, calories, customs, eating disorders, famine, farming, fats, fibre, foodmiles, GM, health, organic, packaging, processing, salt, seasonal, security, sell-by, sustainability, vitamins, water…. Where do we begin with what to eat and drink?
Vegetarians have long maintained that ‘beans are best’. Morally and practically, they say, vegetarian diets win over carnivorous varieties. Now there’s another string to the non-meat-eaters’ bow: veggie, especially vegan, is eco. So will people choose carrots, not carne, to reverse climate change?