Why Eating Better?

The way we feed ourselves is unsustainable.[1] The challenges of obesity, rising food prices, degraded and destroyed ecosystems, waste, animal suffering, climate change, pollution, inequalities and unfair trading systems are the connected impacts of our unsustainable patterns of food consumption and production.  Feeding a growing and more affluent global population healthily, fairly and sustainably simply isn’t possible unless we make some changes. 

We know there are no magic bullets.  Reducing food waste and producing food with less impact on the environment are both essential but not sufficient.  Modifying our eating patterns must be a priority too. One vital, simple step as part of this transition is for people in high consuming countries like the UK to eat less meat – whether red, white or processed meats - and to eat a greater variety of plant-based foods. 

We can do this by eating more meat-free meals, eating meat in smaller portion sizes, using small quantities of meat to add flavor or reserving meat for special occasions.  We can also choose ‘better’ meat that is naturally-fed, has a known provenance and is produced to high animal welfare, environmental and quality standards.  A ‘less but better’ approach to meat eating can also help support farmers without being more expensive for consumers.

[1] Foresight.The Future of Food and Farming (2011) Final Project Report. The Government Office for Science, London