A study published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health has revealed that Brits have made a significant effort to lower their daily consumption of meat in the past ten years. Whether they were motivated to take the step for health reasons, animal welfare, or to save the environment is unknown, but it takes the public an inch closer to the National Food Strategy’s goal of reducing consumption by 30% by 2030.
UK public has reduced their meat consumption
Researchers from Oxford University found that on average, every person was reducing the amount of meat they eat by 17 grams. Data collected from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey which recorded the habits of more than 15,000 people showed that people were eating less red and processed meats. On the other hand, the survey revealed that the public were eating more white meat than before as well.
Despite the overall decrease of consumption in the country, the research team has stressed that these numbers are not good enough. Cristina Stewart, lead researcher of the study, said in conversation with BBC:
We now know we need a more substantial reduction.
You don’t have to be vegetarian. Although, in general, meat-free dishes will have a lower impact.
But if you’re someone that eats meat every day, reducing your meat consumption by 30 per cent just looks like having two meat-free days per week.
How to reduce meat consumption
It’s highly unlikely that everyone will be able to switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet at the press of a button, but reaching the 30% mark is actually easier than it seems. Stewart says that all it takes is having ‘two meat-free days per week.’ She continued:
You don't have to be vegetarian. Although, in general, meat-free dishes will have a lower impact.
But if you're someone that eats meat every day, reducing your meat consumption by 30% just looks like having two meat-free days per week.
You can also make smarter food choices by buying local meat products which have a lower impact on the environment, eating a smaller portion size of meat dishes, having one vegetarian meal a day, and also using more vegetables when you cook your meals.