How to transition to reduced-meat diets that benefit people and the planet

Rust, Niki A.; Ridding, Lucy; Ward, Caroline; Clark, Beth; Kehoe, Laura; Dora, Manoj; Whittingham, Mark J.; McGowan, Phillip; Chaudhary, Abhishek; Reynolds, Christian J.; Trivedy, Chet; West, Nicola. 2020 How to transition to reduced-meat diets that benefit people and the planet. Science of the Total Environment, 718, 137208. 6, pp.

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Overwhelming evidence shows that overconsumption of meat is bad for human and environmental health and that moving towards a more plant-based diet is more sustainable. For instance, replacing beef with beans in the US could free up 42% of US cropland and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 334 mmt, accomplishing 75% of the 2020 carbon reduction target. We summarise the evidence on how overconsumption of meat affects social, environmental and economic sustainability. We highlight the social, environmental and economic effectiveness of a range of dietary interventions that have been tested to date. Because meat eating is embedded within complex cultural, economic, and political systems, dietary shifts to reduce overconsumption are unlikely to happen quickly and a suite of sustained, context-specific interventions is likely to work better than brief, one-dimensional approaches. We conclude with key actions needed by global leaders in politics, industry and the health sector that could help aide this dietary transformation to benefit people and the planet.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: behaviour change, carbon emissions, healthy diets, meat overconsumption, planetary health, sustainable diets
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 02 Mar 2020 17:54 +0 (UTC)

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