Did you know that Australians are the third largest meat eaters in the world? Only Luxembourg and the USA are bigger animal consumers. Wow.
Did you also know that the livestock industry comes with a big greenhouse gas footprint – bigger than global transport?
You may be pretty aware of this, and of the fact that growing food to feed animals is not always the most sensible way to share food and resources amongst a growing population.
Oxfam’s research, published in the Food Transformation Report found that if people in the four countries studied ate a meat-free meal just once a week, then around nine and a half million fewer cows would need to be reared every year. That would mean over 900,000 tonnes less methane being produced, which is equivalent to taking 3.7 million cars off the road for a year.
Indeed, on the 4th June 2013 the International Development Select Committee from the UK published a report called Global Food Security which states that “UK consumers should also be encouraged over time to reduce how often they eat meat.” The United Nations Environment Program also agrees, and has recently stated that “Unless action is taken, increases in pollution and per capita consumption of energy and animal products will exacerbate nutrient losses, pollution levels and land degradation, further threatening the quality of our water, air and soils, affecting climate and biodiversity.”
So what do you think is the most convincing reason to cut back on eating meat and dairy products? Feel free to comment below.
Oxfam is lucky to have veggie superhero chefs such as Simon Bryant supporting the GROW Campaign. Find out why Simon loves lentils in this short video in which he talks about the way plants can improve the soil at the same time as making high protein food for us. How clever.
The GROW Challenges blogging team have got lots of delicious morsels for you this month.
What better way to ease yourself into this challenge than by having a Meat Free Monday. The recipes on the Meat Free Mondays (MFM) site are sensational and come from the best chefs around the world. If you need some substitute products, go no further than the Cruelty Free Shop which is supporting the GROW Challenges.
By Melita Grant, Oxfam’s GROW Team and fair foodie
Each month from April to September, we will profile a different principle from the GROW Method with information, inspiration, recipes, and delicious competitions. Be part of a growing movement of people who want to use their everyday buying and cooking power to create sustained change in the world.