Cut red meat and save the planet

Cut red meat and save the planet

Healthy food would also have to be affordable, and "social protection" for low-income groups may be needed to ensure they do not miss out, they said.

The authors estimate their diet would improve intakes of most vital nutrients while slashing consumption of unhealthy saturated fats.

"Indians should increase protein intake from plant sources such as pulses and legumes and with fish, fowl and meat in that order as part of a non-vegetarian diet, if preferred", said K. Srinath Reddy, a cardiologist and president of the New Delhi-based Public Health Foundation of India and a member of the commission.

No more than 29g of chicken should be eaten a day, with one and a half eggs per week being the max consumed.

The report's authors state, "In a review, the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee concluded that for people older than 2 years, a balanced vegetarian diet can be a healthy eating pattern".

And it comes amid a political storm after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admitted he was cutting back on meat consumption for environmental reasons.

They say to stay within the planet's limits, we will need a combination of dietary change, improved food production through using better agriculture and technology and reduced food waste. They say people should think of meat as a treat and have "a burger once a week or a steak once a month".

"From a sustainability perspective, it would be counterproductive to reduce meat production in Ireland, only to import food from less sustainable systems overseas", MII stated. The diet does allow added sugars but just 31g a day.

"Meeting the nutritional needs of a growing United Kingdom population from plant-based proteins would likely rely much more heavily on imported food, which may be produced to lower environmental standards".

Motorists may need Green card to cross the border
At the moment, there is a green card-free circulation area which covers the EEA, as well as Andorra, Switzerland and Serbia. The Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland has announced the industry is prepared to issue these green cards where necessary.

Global targets will need to be applied locally.

Joanna Lewis, policy director at the Soil Association, said: "The Soil Association welcomes the major contribution the EAT-Lancet Commission has made to shattering the myth that agro-ecological farming can not feed the world".

For Ireland, the food and drink industry is worth approximately €12 billion, and this is heavily contributed to by beef and dairy production.

Emphasis would need to be placed on protecting agricultural land and fisheries, while also tackling the problem of wasted food, Fanzo added.

The "Great Food Transformation" envisioned by the commission acknowledges that the world population is on track to reach an estimated 10 billion by 2050.

According to the report, the "haves" (countries with plenty) like the people of North America, eat more than six times the recommended amount of red meat - compared to the "have-nots" (countries with scarcity), like the people in South Asia, who eat half of what is recommended.

Meeting the targets for starchy vegetables such as potatoes and cassava would need big changes in sub-Saharan Africa, where people on average eat 7.5 times the suggested amount.

While eggs are no longer thought to increase risk of heart disease, Willett said the report recommends limiting them because studies indicate a breakfast of whole grains, nuts and fruit would be healthier.

Professor Johan Rockstrom, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany - who co-led the Commission, said a sustainable system that could deliver healthy diets for a growing and wealthier world population required "nothing less than a new global agricultural revolution".

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