Should we stop producing meat?
Last Thursday, Katrin Bohn joined Prof. Lisa Jack from the University of Portsmouth in an expert panel discussion chaired by Dr. Neale Davies, Liverpool John Moores University, as part of the one-day (online) event The Future of Food hosted by Clean Growth UK. The panel of experts examined with the audience whether we should stop producing meat altogether to tackle the climate emergency. Overall, we thought not but that with Katrin arguing that all meat should be from organic and/or local sources and that we should eat very little of it, say, once or twice per week.
Led by Neale Davies, we talked about the current sustainability of the meat production industry (i.e. contribution to global emissions; land usage vs. calories provided) and what steps can be taken to transition towards a different future. Key questions discussed with the audience were:
– What do you think are the main current issues surrounding meat production and how have we arrived here? (the issue of waste in meat production/ consumption; consumer expectations, demand from supermarkets…)
– How do we limit/manage the current issues? Can we adjust our current system or do we need a radical change? (consumer relationship with food/meat; re-educating or finding appreciation for our food; changing the production models to improve sustainability; change in consumer behaviour…)
– Where do you see the future of the meat industry as part of a sustainable future? (moving away from meat or for it continue to form part of a balanced diet choice; less meat or no meat; in an ideal world: health/nutritional issues, food poverty or cultural/social barriers…)
Our key thoughts for The Future of Food, we concluded as follows:
– food/resource waste needs to be understood as part of the current meat production model;
– consumer expectations can be re-balanced through education and information towards an appreciation of quantity over quality;
– a more responsible public procurement is a major player in more sustainable food systems.
Information about the event The Future of Food are here.
Clean Growth UK is here.
Image: In her project Sea-Meat Seeweed, artist Hanan Alkouh produced meat from seaweed. The project was shown at Food Revolution 5.0 where Bohn&Viljoen exhibited The Edible Terrace. (source: Tom Mannion www 2016)