Climate Change Report Says Meat Must Be Rationed
A report by the Food Climate Research Network of the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom warns that people should “ration” their meat consumption to four portions per week and their dairy consumption to one liter of milk per week to help avoid global climate change caused by animal farming.
According to this report, meat and milk rationing is important to avoid climate change. In addition, total food consumption should be reduced, especially “low nutritional value” foods such as alcohol, sweets, and chocolate. The report also urges people to return to historical eating habits including buying local, in-season products, cooking in bulk, and avoiding wasteful trips to the store.
One of the report’s authors warn that awareness-raising campaigns alone are unlikely to encourage people to change their habits voluntarily and urges the government to cap greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing to ensure that changes are made.
The analysis shows that the United Kingdom food sector produces about 33m tonnes of carbon. When measuring by consumption (including imports), the total rises to 43.3m tonnes. This level of carbon emissions is less than one fifth of total U.K. emissions, but it excludes indirect impacts such as clearing rainforest for cattle and crops, which could add up to an additional 5-20% of emissions.
In summary, the meat and dairy sectors count for about half of those emissions, potatoes, fruit and vegetables for about 15%, drinks and sugared products for about 15%, and bread, pastry, and flour for 13%, according to the report. The portions of the food chain found to be the most polluting include agriculture, manufacturing, transport, cooking and refrigeration at home, and packaging.