Eating less meat will not save the planet, especially our part of it here in New Zealand. That’s the latest message from Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s CEO, Rod Slater.
Beef + Lamb`s Rod Slater says, “Cutting out meat one day a week might seem a simple solution, but there is little evidence to show any benefit.”
Mr Slater’s comments come after former Beatle and well-known vegetarian activist, Sir Paul McCartney, addressed the European Parliament yesterday, claiming ‘less meat = less heat’. McCartney was joined by fellow vegetarian, Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who suggested meat consumption five to six days a week an appropriate level.
Most New Zealanders eat red meat around three to four times a week on average. The New Zealand meat industry is proud of its achievements in the environmental area, producing healthy, nutritious, sustainable meat, which plays an important role in the Kiwi diet. A commitment by New Zealand’s beef and lamb farmers to more sustainable farming practices over the past two decades has seen the sector reduce its carbon footprint by 17% since 1990.
Suggesting meat’s not green is an emotive slur on an industry which continues investment in on-going research, striving for further improvements. “Eating less meat has potential nutritional implications. Despite living in a land of apparent plenty, nutritional deficiencies exist within New Zealand, including a lack of iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Red meat provides all these daily necessities, with Kiwis obtaining the greatest amount of their protein, zinc and vitamin B12 from beef and lamb. New Zealanders should continue to enjoy lean beef and lamb as part of a balanced diet, confident in its quality and the credibility of those involved in its production” says Slater.