Go Easy on ‘High-Carbon’ Food Choices, Dutch Government Recommends
The Dutch government has become the latest to recommend that citizens limit meat in their diet, especially red meat, citing the climate impact of “high-carbon” food choices as one of the reasons to put more emphasis on protein sources like nuts and pulses.
The Netherlands Nutrition Centre “released its recommendations after nearly five years of studying the health and ecological impacts of an average Dutch diet,” the ClimateProgress blog reported in late March. “The new guidelines recommend that a person should consume no more than 500 grams (or a little over a pound) of meat per week. Of that, no more than 300 grams should be red meat.”
Like this story? Subscribe to The Energy Mix and never miss an edition of our free e-digest.
Sweden led the world in 2009 when it “became the first country to recommend that residents take environmental concerns into account when making food choices,” writes ClimateProgress correspondent Natasha Geiling. As well, a week before the Nutrition Centre’s release, “the UK’s government-backed nutritional body released updated dietary guidelines recommending that residents replace several servings of animal protein with plant-based protein,” and aim for a 7% cut in dairy consumption.
The U.S. departments of agriculture and health and human services briefly considered adding sustainability criteria to their updated dietary guidelines earlier this week, Geiling notes. The move generated “cries of support from environmentalists and fierce backlash from the meat industry,” resulting in nearly 29,000 public comments that were mostly supportive.
“But when the guidelines were finally released in October of last year, sustainability did not make the cut. Environmental and food sustainability experts were quick to point a finger at the political power of the food lobby, which they argue had an outsized influence on the crafting of the guidelines.” (h/t to Angela Bischoff for pointing us to this story)