Industry must heed danger of environment slogans

The industry needs to be ready to tackle “simplistic” messages on meat and the environment, the chief executive of EBLEX warned.

Speaking at yesterday’s Outlook Conference, organised by EBLEX and BPEX, Richard Lowe said the “eat less meat” message to cut down on carbon emissions was a danger.

He highlighted the news that an American catering company had recently announced it had reduced its carbon footprint by 25% by no longer serving beef.

“The message to eat less meat to save the planet is simplistic and dangerous,” he said. “It’s the kind of simple, headline-grabbing move we’re likely to see from uninformed organisations.”

Meanwhile, Professor Robert Pickard, chairman of Which?, told delegates that demonising meat, particularly burgers was wrong. He pointed out that meat contains essential nutrients, which are unavailable in the quantities necessary through a non-meat-eating diet.

He said people keep passing the buck and it was lifestyle, rather than diet, which was the biggest problem. “Don’t demonise the beefburger in terms of it not being nutritious,” he said. “A beef burger is incredibly nutritious – in fact it’s too nutritious to be eaten in excessively large quantities by sedentary human beings.”

• For more news on the Outlook Conference, see next week’s Meat Trades Journal.