Meat Alternative – Better for Your Health and the Environment

A new report from the Carbon Trust finds that increasing diversity of UK protein choices is a practical way to promote more sustainable diets with lower impacts on health and environment.
“The British public could improve their health and reduce the environmental and resource impacts associated with food consumption by eating a greater variety of protein-rich main ingredients,” according to Tom Cumberlege, one of the report’s authors.

He was speaking following the release yesterday (Sunday) of a new report by the Carbon Trust, which investigates whether increasing protein diversity could deliver health and sustainability benefits in the UK.

Titled ‘The Case for Protein Diversity’, the report looks at the impact of some of the most popular protein-rich main ingredients eaten today in the UK, as well as some less common options that have the potential for wider adoption. These range from meat, fish and eggs, through to pulses, meat alternatives and insects.

Its analysis finds that greater levels of protein diversity would, in most cases, result in overall benefits to individual health, at the same time as reducing the UK’s impacts on climate change, water use and land use.

“By the middle of this century the global population will have grown by more than 2 billion people, increasingly living more middle class lifestyles. This is likely to involve them spending some of their disposable incomes on eating more interesting, protein-rich foods, especially meat and dairy products,” says Cumberlege.

“But this demand for protein is unsustainable and will put a serious strain on agricultural resources, contributing to issues such as climate change, deforestation, freshwater availability and soil degradation.

“There are some great examples of organisations working to address production efficiency. However, we also need to think differently about how we meet our protein consumption, to ensure that we have a secure food supply for tomorrow and for generations to come.”

‘The Case for Protein Diversity: Accelerating the adoption of more sustainable eating patterns’ is a report produced by the Carbon Trust that was sponsored by Quorn Foods.