NFU writes to The Times on sustainable diets

Stuart Roberts

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts has written to The Times about UK meat production and the importance of eating sustainably all year around.

The letter was in response to an opinion piece by online butcher John Pallagi, titled A meat-free month isn’t the best choice for us or the planet.

John Pallagi is quite right when he says eating meat sensibly throughout the year is the best way to have a positive impact on the environment (A meat-free month isn’t the best choice for us or the planet).

In Britain we produce red meat and dairy very well. Here, beef production emits half the amount of greenhouse gases other countries do on average and our farmers are striving to do even better, working towards agriculture being net zero by 2040.

We have the climate to produce bountiful lush grass so our red meat is predominantly fed on forage, and our farmers take great pride in how they care for their animals and the land.

The diet debate is complex. As Mr Pallagi states, it’s not the cow, it’s the how, and it’s the same for all foods. What matters is how food is produced, where it has come from and how suitable the available natural resources are to that production.

A healthy, sustainable diet should be about balance all year round and always looking for responsibly sourced food – whether it’s your fruit, veg and cereals or your meat, eggs and dairy. For me, that means buying local, buying seasonal and buying British.

Stuart Roberts
NFU Deputy President

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