June 2, 2023

Food fight: Kilkenny carnivores told to slash meat consumption by 90%

KILKENNY carnivores will be left with a sinking feeling in their stomachs at the publication of major new report which says Irish people will have to cut their meat consumption by a whopping 90% in order to avert a climate catastrophe.

The research by 20 influential food scientists, published in the Lancet Medical Journal, says the global food system is unsustainable and driving the planet towards environmental destruction while simultaneously leaving billions of people either underfed or overweight.

It calls for a radical reduction in the consumption of meat and dairy in favour of plant-based alternatives.

Its “healthy, sustainable reference diet” would involve a complete restructuring of the average Irish person’s diet, with beef and lamb consumption reduced by 90% to just 7g a day – equivalent to roughly half a meatball.

People would also be limited to 7g of pork a day, equivalent to a single cocktail sausage, and just 29g of chicken or one and a half chicken nuggets.

However, Irish farmers were quick to rubbish the controversial research today.

Irish Farmers Association (IFA) President Joe Healy said the report fails to take any account of how carbon efficiently food is produced in different regions of the world, or the very high standards that Irish farmers adhere to.

“We have very efficient food production systems in Ireland from a climate perspective,” he said.

“We are the most carbon efficient dairy producer in Europe and amongst the top five in beef. It’s important that this sustainable production is not restricted, as it would lead to increased international climate emissions. This would happen because regions like the Brazilian Amazon in South America would be deforested to meet this growing demand.”


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