Flexitarian diet

September 2022 Forums General discussion Flexitarian diet

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    IMHO, the party has been reluctant to take a strong position on food production and people’s diet for some years. It is an issue that won’t go away and keeps arising when a sustainable future is being discussed.

    The only way to have sustainable land use in this country, and avoid ecological breakdown, is to vastly reduce the consumption of meat and dairy, according to the UK government’s food tsar, Henry Dimbleby.


    “It’s an incredibly inefficient use of land to grow crops, feed them to a ruminant or pig or chicken which then over its lifecycle converts them into a very small amount of protein for us to eat,” he said.

    Currently, 85% of agricultural land in England is used for pasture for grazing animals such as cows or to grow food which is then fed to livestock.

    Dimbleby believes a 30% meat reduction over 10 years is required for land to be used sustainably in England. Others go much further: Greenpeace, for example, say we must reduce our meat intake by 70%

    “The government would fall within a fortnight if it implemented a meat tax”, he said. “There’s no point recommending impossible things.”

    The Party procrastinates, IMHO, over putting forward a clear case, postponing such policies to when socialism has been achieved and actual socialists are in charge of how society is run.


    George Monbiot critique of livestock farming practices


    Arable crops, some of which are fed to farm animals, occupy 12% of the planet’s land surface. But far more land (28%) is used for grazing: in other words, for pasture-fed meat and milk. Yet, across this vast area, farm animals that are entirely pasture-fed produce just 1% of the world’s protein.

    In the UK, my estimates suggest that some 4m hectares of hill and mountain are used for sheep farming. Almost all this land, much of which would otherwise support temperate rainforest, is treeless, as tree seedlings are highly nutritious and selectively eaten by sheep. There are more trees for each hectare in some parts of inner London than there are in the “wild” British hills where sheep graze. The remaining vegetation is badly degraded.

    Four million hectares is 22% of the entire farmed area. It’s roughly equivalent to all the land used to grow grain in this country , and 23 times the area used for growing fruit and vegetables. But, in terms of calories, lamb and mutton supply just over 1% of the UK’s food.

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