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Eat Less But Better Meat

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Eat Less But Better Meat

The quality of the food we eat has a profound influence on our own health and the health of the planet. If we optimise our diet we can improve our wellbeing and contribute to a healthier environment for all. One of the most effective approaches to achieve this is to eat less but better meat.

Eating meat is not problematic in itself but the quality and type matters significantly. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has studied meat consumption and found strong evidence that processed meat is carcinogenic and classified red meat as probably carcinogenic. The WHO therefore advises to eat less red meat and avoid processed meat as much as possible.

Wanting to eat less processed meat can be a great motivation to try new food and recipes that include more vegetables and better meat. You can experiment with this is many ways. Meatfree Mondays are a popular way to start the week. Others like to keep their meat, but then have a smaller piece and put more effort into the preparation and sides. 

Better quality meat has several health benefits. A study by the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic meat and milk contains around 50% more omega-3 fatty acids that non-organic, which is great against inflammation and diseases such as cancer and arthritis. Organic meat also has a slightly lower concentration of two saturated fats that are linked to heart disease.

Organic cows

Eating less meat also has great benefit for the environment. Meat production requires huge amounts of feed and water to produce food and that puts a high pressure on the whole ecosystem. Vegetable production on the other hand requires substantially less energy per produced food unit. Eating less meat is therefore an effective way to lower carbon emissions and contribute less to climate change.

There are ways of producing meat with less negative impact on the environment. Organic standards require farmers to follow the highest animal welfare standards and they cover every step from how much space animals get, to the quality of feed, transport and slaughter at the end of their life. Organic meat has to be properly free range and it also bans the routine use of antibiotics. In every step the animals must be treated to the highest welfare standards. This benefits the animals and ensures healthy food production for all.

If the meat is certified organic with our Soil Association logo then it also has to follow the best models for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In organic farming the animals must be fed a natural non-GM diet, they graze on clover rich pasture and the strong restrictions on pesticides lets local wildlife thrive, which all helps the environment.

To summarise, eating less meat of higher quality is a win-win-win situation. It is good for your health, it improves conditions for the animals we eat and it helps the environment.  It is not always clear if the meat is of high quality, but if it carries our Soil Association organic logo then you know the meat has been certified to the highest food, environment and animal welfare standards.

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