Bishop of Manchester asks a question on the Food Strategy White Paper

On 7th July, the House of Lords discussed the Food Strategy White Paper. The Bishop of Manchester asked the following question:

The Lord Bishop of Manchester: My Lords, the National Food Strategy that was produced last year found that the UK’s current appetite for meat was unsustainable and that the intake needed to fall by 30% within 10 years to help the environment. I would be grateful if the Minister could clarify what role exists for vegetarian and vegan food in the Government’s strategy. It does not appear to be set out, not least when it comes to aligning with the Government’s net-zero strategy.

Lord Benyon (Con): I think farming and perhaps also the Government have failed to make the argument between good meat and bad meat. Bad meat is grown on feed lots at a high carbon price to society and damages those farmers who are producing good-quality meat on grass-based systems. That is what we want to encourage. We want sustainable production of meat. We hear what the Climate Change Committee says on the amount of meat that people should eat. We want people to make their own choices but be given the right information on which to make those choices. Vegan diets can sometimes be very damaging to the climate because the materials are sometimes grown where rainforests used to be.


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