Cutting down on meat 'could reduce 'greenhouse gas'
Cutting out almost all meat from the nation's diet could help reduce greenhouse emissions, a new report out today claims.
The first guidelines for an environmentally-friendly diet recommends just 4% meat to meet the 2020 climate change targets.
According to the Livewell report released by wildlife charity WWF and the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, red and white meat are "hotspots" for environmental impact.
Latest figures showed the UK diet currently includes around 16% meat.
The Livewell 2020 regime would also involve eating more fruit, vegetables and cereal, and less processed products to reduce the environmental impact of the food industry.
Authors of the report said the low-carbon diet, which still allows for chocolate, crisps and chips, would cost £28.40 per person per week compared with an average spend of £32.12 per person in 2009.
It said: "With increasing recognition of the environmental impact of food and drink, future food policy and dietary advice need to go beyond the traditional focus on nutrient recommendations for health to include wider issues of sustainability."
As well as a small percentage of meat, the Livewell 2020 diet also includes 35% fruit and vegetables, 29% bread, pasta, rice and potatoes and 15% dairy products.
A seven-day sample menu included a breakfast of high-fibre cereal with semi-skimmed milk, wholemeal sandwiches for lunch and dishes such as chicken curry and rice, macaroni cheese and chilli beef tortillas for dinner.
The report also said it was possible to reach the 2050 target of 70% less greenhouse emissions through a more limited diet.
Colin Butfield, WWF's head of campaigns, said: "If we want to protect the species and forests that are at the heart of WWF's work, then we have to fundamentally change our food system.
"Today's report gives a picture of a way of eating that is good for the planet and good for your health too. For some, it might even be cheaper.
"This is not a radical proposal - it's a diet that contains meat or fish every day and that includes everything from chicken curry to macaroni cheese.
"The debate on the environmental impacts of food has often been polarised around meat-eating versus vegetarianism. This is unhelpful.
"Certainly livestock is a hotspot in terms of environmental impact but what we should be debating is sustainable versus unsustainable food choices.
"This is about balancing our diet, not necessarily eliminating foods."
Investigation launched after manatee drowns at Paris zoo
Melting glaciers are caused by man-made global warming, study shows
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
The butterfly effect: climate change ‘forced species to adapt’
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
- 4 Nicki Minaj 'Anaconda': Singer finally releases predictable video
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women
£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: An experienced Digital/Ecommerc...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...