We must eat half as much meat: health, climate… the new report which defends the reduction in consumption in France

We must eat half as much meat: health, climate... the new report which defends the reduction in consumption in France

Pour la planète et notre santé, il faudrait diminuer de moitié notre consommation de viande. ILLUSTRATION UNSPLASH – Jose Ignacio

A report from the French Nutrition Society and Climate Action Network published on February 20, 2024 recommends halving its consumption in France. According to the conclusions of these experts, this would make it possible to achieve France's climate objectives and improve the health of the population.

Conclusions that could make the most recalcitrant cringe. And yet, report the French Nutrition Society with the Climate Action Network in a report, reducing your meat consumption would be beneficial in many ways. At the top of the list: climate and health. 

The National Strategy for Food, Nutrition and Climate developed by the government will soon see the light of day, which is why the two organizations are pointing out meat consumption. And according to this report, we would do well to take an interest. 

Also read: Sète: professionals in the meat, cheese, fruit, vegetable and wine quality sectors facing the challenges of tomorrow

The fruits of less meat consumption

"The study provides unprecedented scientific data on diets that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with a reduction of 50 % of meat consumption compared to the current French average, while satisfying all recommended nutritional intakes, poses the study. 

Two positive points were retained by the scientists. On the one hand, eating less meat allows you to eat while emitting less greenhouse gases and on the other hand, this type of diet has benefits for the health.

Also read: Food: red meat, overly salty cheese, refined sugar… what will be the bad performers in the next Nutri-Score ?

The report notably recalls that 22% of the national carbon footprint is attributed to food. And in the range of products consumed by the French, meat is undoubtedly the most polluting. These are  27 kg of CO2 which are emitted per 1 kg of beef, against 0.7 kg for 1 kg of wheat flour, reports the website of the government

What recommendations ?

Based on these conclusions, the report lists several dietary adaptations (18-65 years). At most, you should consume 450 grams of meat (excluding poultry) per week. It is recommended to favor poultry or pork meat, rather than beef, which remains the most polluting. Consumption of eggs and dairy products should also be moderate.

Also read: The fifteen largest meat companies emit almost as much methane as the European Union

And to avoid losing anything in terms of nutritional intake, other eating habits should be put in place. With the consumption of legumes and a small handful of unsalted nuts every day in addition to five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

Meat consumption in France increased by 2% between 2013 and 2022, deplores the report, which also points to insufficient consumption of fruits and vegetables and sources vegetable proteins.

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