Climate-friendly food choices protect the planet, promote health, reduce health costs

University of Otago

Jono Drew is lead researcher and Otago medical student.  Credit: Jono Drew
Jono Drew is lead researcher and Otago medical student. Credit: Jono Drew

Increased uptake of plant-based diets in New Zealand could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while greatly improving population health and saving the healthcare system billions of dollars in the coming decades, according to a new University of Otago study.

Lead researcher and Otago medical student Jono Drew explains the global food system is driving both the climate crisis and the growing burden of common chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.

“International research has highlighted the climate and health co-benefits that arise from consuming a diet that is rich in plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. We wanted to understand if this holds true here in New Zealand, and to tease out which eating patterns could offer the greatest co-benefits in this context.”

The research team developed a New Zealand-specific food emissions database that, in estimating greenhouse gas emissions arising from foods commonly consumed in New Zealand, considers important parts of the ‘lifecycle’ of each food, including farming and processing, transportation, packaging, warehouse and distribution, refrigeration needs, and supermarket overheads. Using their database, the team was then able to model climate, health, and health system cost impacts stemming from a range of dietary scenarios.

Senior author Dr Alex Macmillan, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health, says results from the study show that greenhouse gas emissions vary considerably between different foods in New Zealand. As a general rule, the climate impact of animal-based foods, particularly red and processed meats, tends to be substantially higher than that of whole plant-based foods, including vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.

“Fortunately, foods that are health-promoting tend also to be those that are climate friendly. Conversely, certain foods that carry known health risks are particularly climate-polluting. Red and processed meat intake, for instance, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers,” Dr Macmillan says.

The research ultimately shows that a population-level dietary shift could, depending on the extent of changes made, offer diet-related emissions savings of between 4 to 42 per cent annually, along with health gains of between 1.0 to 1.5 million quality-adjusted life-years (a single quality-adjusted life-year is equal to one year of optimal health) and cost savings to the health system of NZD $14 to $20 billion over the lifetime of the current New Zealand population.

Mr Drew says the analysis reveals emissions savings equivalent to a 59 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s annual light passenger vehicle emissions could be possible if New Zealand adults consumed an exclusively plant-based diet and avoided wasting food unnecessarily.

“All of our scenarios were designed to meet New Zealand’s dietary guidelines. We began with a baseline scenario where we looked at minimal dietary changes required, relative to what New Zealanders are consuming now, to meet the guidelines. These changes included increased intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and milk, along with decreased intake of highly processed foods. From there, we tailored our dietary scenarios to be progressively more plant-based- that is, substituting animal-based foods with plant-based alternatives.

“We thought it was important to show what was possible if people were willing to make changes to their eating pattern, and what would be possible if our entire population made a significant shift in that same direction,” Mr Drew says.

“As our modelled dietary scenarios became increasingly plant-based and therefore more climate-friendly, we found that associated population-level health gains and healthcare cost savings tended also to increase. A scenario that replaced all meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products with plant-based alternatives, and that also required people to cut out all unnecessary household food waste, was found to offer the greatest benefit across all three of these parameters,” he says.

Mr Drew says this is exciting because we can now better understand what it means to promote a climate-friendly eating pattern in the New Zealand context. “Essentially, the message is highly comparable to that being delivered in other countries already, and we should be rapidly looking for ways to effectively support our population in making eating pattern changes.”

The researchers argue that these findings should prompt national policy action, including revising the New Zealand dietary guidelines to include messaging on climate-friendly food choices. They also advocate for the implementation of other policy tools, such as pricing strategies, labeling schemes, and food procurement guidelines for public institutions.

“Well-designed public policy is needed worldwide to support the creation of a global food system that no longer exacerbates the climate crisis, nor the burden of non-communicable disease,” Mr Drew says.


From EurekAlert!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
January 26, 2020 2:29 am

After this article by Jono Drew, lead researcher and Otago University medical student 44 million New Zealand Sheep are cheering loudly and urging him on.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 26, 2020 4:34 am

Except, of course, for the observation that those sheep have ultimately got to go. They’re walking, baaing, methane factories.

Sal Minella
Reply to  Spetzer86
January 26, 2020 6:39 am

“They’re walking, baaing, methane factories.” As will be the human population if they eat a sheep’s diet.

Reply to  Sal Minella
January 26, 2020 7:36 am


Humans can’t digest most of a sheep’s diet. If we eat grass, we just poop out it back out.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Sal Minella
January 26, 2020 8:41 am

How could a New Zealander eat anything but lamb chops. I love lamb chops, but my wife hates them. I only fix them when she is out of town.

Jono must be a nut job or a troll.

Russ Wood
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 27, 2020 5:10 am

I hate chops, what with messing around with the bone… But NZ has lamb STEAKS – yummy!

Charles Higley
Reply to  Spetzer86
January 26, 2020 10:50 am

What no one mentions is that the half-life of CO2 and methane in the atmosphere is about 5 years, which makes both gases fairly dynamic. The IPCC and NOAA/NASA have CO2’a half-life at 200 and 1000 years, respectively, making all human emissions mostly still with us. That is the only way they can demonize CO2, even though it also cannot do what they say. They are banking on the public being ignorant and trusting.

The short half-life of CO2 is evidenced by the significant rise and fall of CO2 in the Mauna Loa CO2 data as atmospheric CO2 concentration rises linearly. Even though our emissions go up logarithmically, CO2 rise is linear, which means that we are not in control of atmospheric CO2. Ceasing all human emissions would have no effect on atmospheric CO2 and its rise. As long as the overall oceans are above a certain temperature, upwelling water will continue to outgas CO2. This means that all calls for decreasing emissions by curtailing or changing our lives and habits must be entirely political.

In parallel, as long as the planet is above a certain temperature, the overall ice mass of the planet will tend to decrease. The rate might vary from region to region but melting will be the overall trend. Only when we get below a certain temperature will ice mass increase become dominant. Even then some glaciers will be melting while others growing, just as they are today. During the Little Ice Age glacier growth out performed glacier retreat. The vagaries of nature.

Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 26, 2020 9:11 am

I’m a meatatarian – it’s a life choice.

I mean, like… “How dare you!!!”

This article is abusive to me! I am suffering deep trauma! I feel so judged, so violated! I mean , y’know, like totally!!!

My personal safe space has been invaded! I am the victim here and I’m going full snowflake!

I need peer support! Where are my friends? Where is my Teddy?

I need a latte! Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, No Whip!

I want, I want, y’know, I mean, liked totally!!! Y’know?

Like, y’know… “How dare you!” 🙂

January 26, 2020 5:45 pm


Not withstanding, is this really the poor standard of their medical students ?

January 27, 2020 5:34 am

“Climate crisis”?

WHAT climate crisis??!

Charles Higley
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 26, 2020 10:32 am

“Red and processed meat intake, for instance, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers,”

They have this entirely backwards. We know now that cardiovascular disease is caused by the osmotic stress of arterial linings by high concentrations of glucose that then allows the entrance of lipoproteins through the endothelium which then irritates the region. Because of a low cholesterol and low saturated fat diet, the lipoproteins are also smaller than normal and more easily pass through the endothelium. This is atherosclerosis in essence.

In addition, we are bears, in that we are predisposed to convert excess glucose into fat. In ancient times, carbohydrates, as grains and fruit, were only present in late Summer and early Fall. Like bears, we are set up to fatten up for the ing winter. We were never meant to have carbohydrates available all year round. This is why anything more than up to ~60 grams of glucose, which tops off one’s liver, will be converted to fat.

Then, there is obesity caused by the excess carbohydrates that will only increase with a low-meat diet. As each extra pound of fat adds about 15 miles of capillaries that your heart has to push blood through, it is not surprise that there are systemic and life-threatening effects.

Several recent studies have entirely debunked the idea that meat is bad for us and might also cause cancer. Meat os the one food that we digest to virtually nothing, which indicates that we are designed for eating meat. Ao, what did we eat the rest of the year when fruit and grains were not available? Meat. We killed animals and ate the internal organs first, as they are the most nutricious and then they ate the red meat.

We are 95% carnivore and they want use to be grazers/herbivores. Indeed, it would make us a weaker population and then more easily controlled. It would decrease longevity and decrease population, both goals of the UN.

Lastly, no gas at any concentration in the atmosphere can warm Earth’s surface and then the climate. It’s simply a non-starter scientifically, as it defies the laws of thermodynamics, among other things. They seek to demonize CO2, as it is so essential to all life as well as human activities, because then they can choose to claim virtually everything we do or want is bad for the world. This is a political agenda (read socialist) based on consolidating power and wealth, by making all of us subservient to the climate according to their rules, as well as eliminating a large portion of the population (less competition that way).

Reply to  Charles Higley
January 27, 2020 5:34 pm


Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 26, 2020 5:24 pm

If he wants everyone to be a vegetarian, he should lead by example by pulling his own eye teeth out;)



January 26, 2020 2:30 am

I stopped reading this idiotic buffoonery after “the global food system is driving both the climate crisis …”.

Claude Guyot-Sionnest
Reply to  Petit_Barde
January 26, 2020 5:26 am

You’r the best!

Reply to  Petit_Barde
January 26, 2020 5:40 am

just slap global warming on it…and you can write up anything

Reply to  Latitude
January 26, 2020 6:23 am

Eating bats and snakes helps reduce pressure on the climate, plus they make you frisky.

Reply to  Scissor
January 26, 2020 7:25 am

Is that before of after the corona virus kicks in?

Reply to  Spetzer86
January 26, 2020 8:00 am

The reduction in pressure on the climate would be after and the frisky part before; I guess I got the sequence reversed.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Spetzer86
January 26, 2020 8:09 am

You get friskier as your temperature climbs towards 104 degrees.

After that, you just start pining for the fjords.

Reply to  Petit_Barde
January 26, 2020 10:43 am

Is it possible that this article is a satire?

It is kind of funny, and would be a great take-off on the usual climate change BS.

It reminds me of the fabled article:
“Bailing belly-button lint protects the planet, promotes health, reduces health costs”.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Petit_Barde
January 26, 2020 11:16 am

For that matter, we should be banning carnivores around the world, as simply CO2 emitters. Also, primary consumers, herbivores, are emitting CO2 and methane, they have to go as well. These evil species have been contriving to destroy the planet for millions of years and they have to go! How can nature do this to us?

What is not realized is the big picture. The Cliffs of Dover and the huge buried reefs in Iowa are evidence of the removal of carbon (CO2) from the system. Processes are constantly conspiring to remove CO2 from the air. Tropical oceans are effectively at saturation for calcium carbonate and will precipitate this salt onto the skeletons of corals, thus cementing them together and building the reef. It is mostly fortuitous volcanic eruptions and ocean warming that has kept CO2 from going so low as to threaten life on this planet. This is the existential threat to Earth.

There is the unfounded assumption that the processes of life on Earth and those of the planet are in some kind of synchrony or balance. They are not. Just as there are not enough decomposers to keep up with carbon detritus that falls to a forest floor to prevent the build up of a fuel load and eventual catastrophic fires (which is why fairly regular low-level fires are good), there is the assumption that our life-giving CO2 is in some kind of balance that we have upset. Looking back 600 million years, it is clear that the planet is tending toward a low CO2 concentration that threatens all life on Earth.

We need to look at the big picture and, when you do, the noise we hear about AGW becomes meaningless. We truly need to faster our CO2 emissions, even to the point of cooking the CO2 out of the Cliffs of Dover (nuclear power can be a cheap and safe power source).

Reply to  Charles Higley
January 27, 2020 10:36 pm

You are correct Charles. Notes from 2013 and 2009 on CO2 starvation:

Gail Combs says: October 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

You are correct there is a real problem with CO2. There is not enough in the atmosphere. When the earth slips back into a glacial and the CO2 levels plummet again C3 plants may become extinct.“
Ref. Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California.

I generally agree Gail. CO2 levels are much too low to sustain life over the longer term.

Here are some thoughts from 2009:

(Plant) Food for Thought (apologies – written too late at night)


1. “As CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels – below 200 ppm – will cease to grow or produce.”'s_atmosphere

2. “The longest ice core record comes from East Antarctica, where ice has been sampled to an age of 800 kyr BP (Before Present). During this time, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has varied by volume between 180 – 210 ppm during ice ages, increasing to 280 – 300 ppm during warmer interglacials…

… On longer timescales, various proxy measurements have been used to attempt to determine atmospheric carbon dioxide levels millions of years in the past. These include boron and carbon isotope ratios in certain types of marine sediments, and the number of stomata observed on fossil plant leaves. While these measurements give much less precise estimates of carbon dioxide concentration than ice cores, there is evidence for very high CO2 volume concentrations between 200 and 150 myr BP of over 3,000 ppm and between 600 and 400 myr BP of over 6,000 ppm.”

Questions and meanderings:

According to para.1 above:
During Ice ages, does almost all plant life die out as a result of some combination of lower temperatures and CO2 levels that fell below 200ppm (para. 2 above)? If not, why not?

Does this (possible) loss of plant life have anything to do with rebounding of atmospheric CO2 levels as the world exits the Ice Age (in combination with other factors such as ocean exsolution)? Could this contribute to the observed asymmetry?

When all life on Earth comes to an end, will it be because CO2 permanently falls below 150ppm as it is permanently sequestered in carbonate rocks, hydrocarbons, coals, etc.?

January 28, 2020 8:50 am

Fossil records including fossil fuels seem more accurate than Ice Cores where the Greening actually occurred had greater Carbon Dioxide in ppm, as we find in every forest now are much higher than whatever reaches the polar ice. While those Ice Cores give us an average for the timeline there were higher ppm in regions around our equator at the same time. Where Hothouse Tropical Climates lasted closer to billion year periods and Icehouse anomalies were measured in millions of years, even recent Ice Cores can’t tell us what actually happened during the Holocene Climate Optimum because the Ice from before that time, was melted during that time. Every fluctuation of cold in our Holocene to the LIA was wiped out with every warm fluctuation melting it, before people even started testing Ice Core CO2. Making fossils and tree rings studies more reliable.

Reply to  JOHN CHISM
January 28, 2020 8:43 pm

You have not quantified anything John, nor have you provided references.
How do your comments change my conclusion, or do they?
“CO2 levels are much too low to sustain life over the longer term.”

January 26, 2020 2:32 am

Paragraph 9 states increase “milk” use, among other items & then paragraph 12 states cut out “dairy”, as well as other items. So the thesis is confused about at least that.

Reply to  gringojay
January 26, 2020 3:38 am

I thnk, there they talk about the further processing of milk as cheese, fruit-milk etc

Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 26, 2020 4:39 am

Hey, dairy means dairy, if they cannot even define what they are talking about , it is not for us to guess. If you want to ‘save the planet’ you need know what you are talking about and define it clearly, not contradict yourself.

As with all this BS, if you prioritise a false problem as one of your driving aims you will end up making bad decisions. If NZ, it’s 4 million ppl and 44 million sheep sank into the ocean, it would make ZERO effect on the planet.

However, if they reduce their intake of junk food I’m sure they would benefit greatly. Why not try to promote that instead of trying to ‘trick’ ppl into healthy eating with climate lies?

As a medical student his obligation is learn how to care for his future patients, not play politics with medicine.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Greg
January 26, 2020 6:00 am

Don’t worry, I think history has one or two examples whereby members of the medical profession (or Quackery as it is sometimes known), have wreeked havoc upon the nearby populous! Mengala, Guevara, etc! The medical profession is not known for its intelligence or diplomacy in general, as in 1910 when the current UK political adminstration took office, members of the BMA were in No 10 Downing Street thumping the Cabinet table demanding higher minimum pricing on alcohol, for the minions/peasants, etc, not of course for their good selves who have enriched themselves from the public purse beyond the dreams of average! The BMA had put in an application for extended bar licensing hours at their HQ for 24 hour drinking! Yes I know if the UK wants a 24 hour Health Service then some doctors have to do shifts night & day, so some doc coming off night-shift, a 9am drink is no different from a doc coming off day-shift doing likewise, but the BMA’s timing was appalling!!!

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Alan the Brit
January 26, 2020 8:02 am

Don’t worry, I think history has one or two examples whereby members of the medical profession (or Quackery as it is sometimes known), have wreeked havoc upon the nearby populous! Mengala, Guevara, etc! The medical profession is not known for its intelligence or diplomacy in general, as in 1910 when the current UK political adminstration took office, members of the BMA were in No 10 Downing Street thumping the Cabinet table demanding higher minimum pricing on alcohol, for the minions/peasants, etc, not of course for their good selves who have enriched themselves from the public purse beyond the dreams of average! The BMA had put in an application for extended bar licensing hours at their HQ for 24 hour drinking! Yes I know if the UK wants a 24 hour Health Service then some doctors have to do shifts night & day, so some doc coming off night-shift, a 9am drink is no different from a doc coming off day-shift doing likewise, but the BMA’s timing was appalling!!! Correction 2010!

Neil M. Dunn
Reply to  Greg
January 26, 2020 8:59 am

On a plant based diet->no more bulls->no more BS. And anyone of us that utters BS->will be “seeds” to be planted, forever.

Reply to  gringojay
January 26, 2020 6:54 am

That was the baseline at the beginning of the study. They refined it and switched to a plant based diet.

sky king
January 26, 2020 3:03 am

His dietary prescriptions are just the old saw we have heard from the US gov’t since the 70s which gave us the obesity and diabetes epidemic of this century.

I will stick to my regimen of meat, fish and eggs with a dash of liver for Vit C and A and skip the vegetables.

Jono Drew is wrong about everything. Glad I will not have to worry about having him as my doctor someday.

Reply to  sky king
January 26, 2020 3:40 am

Bad science has consequences. The obesity epidemic seems to be the result of Ancel Keys’ bad science. He blamed the heart attack epidemic of the 50s/60s on dietary fat. Another scientist, John Yudkin, “disagreed, naming sugar, especially fructose, as the cause of heart disease as well as cavities, obesity, liver disease, and some forms of cancer.”

Keys and his allies crushed Yudkin and ruined his career. link

“Fat” science is remarkably like global warming science. Dissent is crushed. When people tell me that 97% of scientists can’t be wrong, I point out that we have examples in recent history where that was exactly the case.

Reply to  commieBob
January 26, 2020 4:53 am

Exactly. The war on fat and the dogma which has prevailed among supposed medical and dietary “experts” for half a century and is still being propagated here by demonising “red meat”, reveals that it takes generations for science to even start to “self correct”. This will get worse before it gets better.

Getting rid of processed foods, sugar, fructose and corn syrup is far more relevant than not eating “red meat”.

I had a friend who having trouble losing weight despite eating only salads and juiced fruit and working hard on his land. I calculated the amount of sugar and fructose he was consuming in the large amount of juiced fruit he was getting through each day and explained that the fructose goes straight to fat, it does not get burnt as energy. He seemed to have trouble believing it: after all we are told we must eat more fruit, it’s “healthy”.

guido LaMoto
Reply to  Greg
January 27, 2020 2:17 am

Right, except the fructose comment is wrong– a myth perpetuated in many discussions of diet/nutrition/health outcomes. The hexose isomerase reaction that rapidly turns fructose glucose doesn’t even require an energy of activation.

In regards GHG production by ag: how many passes of the tractor go into turning a fallow field into a harvestable crop? How often is a tractor used in tuning out and rounding up a herd of meat producing herbivores each year? BTW- it takes more acres of pasture to produce grass finished beef than acres of corn (another grass) to produce feedlot beef. Ultimate result: more natural habitat can be saved by the modern technique.

Desert Bob
Reply to  commieBob
January 26, 2020 5:53 am

. Ancel Keys was just one part of the problem. His bad science has led to untold human suffering. The McGovern Report also played a role. But the problem goes back much farther. According to Belinda Fettke, it started with and continues with the Seventh Day Adventists pushing their vegetarian diet ideology back in the late 1800’s. It seems as though the Seventh Day Adventists were ahead of their time in using science as a cover for their advocacy and buying off various professional groups. It’s a lot like climate science in that regard.

I’m not confident that this link will come through but here is a talk by Belinda Fettke at Low Carb Down Under
‘Nutrition Science: How did we get here?

Reply to  Desert Bob
January 26, 2020 6:41 am

The link came through just fine. Thank you.

“Sanitarium” is a real food brand? I think I may have found what Jono’s problem right there. Or maybe he’s a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I would guess he consumes an awful lot of soy products, however.

Reply to  Scissor
January 26, 2020 8:52 am

The cost of treating diabetes is staggering and going up every year. Recent estimates for 2017 in the US stand at $327 billion up from $245 billion in 2012.

As comments point out above eating sugar and processed food has fueled this increase. Over the last few years doctors such as Noakes, Phinney, Westman, Fung, Unwin, Gary Fettke (Belinda’s husband an orthopedic surgeon) and many others have reversed diabetes in many of their patients reducing or taking them off assorted meds. Most were pilloried for their actions. Some like Noakes and Fettke won cases brought against them.

Tough to take on the industry of diabetes with so much money at stake and so many new patients eating garbage adding to the sick. Almost a perfect scheme?

Watching some of the success stories from Virta is hopeful and the fact that many insurance companies are covering costs.

Reply to  sky king
January 26, 2020 10:46 am

Hi sky king, – In a study of USA people age 50 – 65 when 20%, or more, of the dietary calories is protein a recent analysis found a 4 times greater risk of cancer death & 74% greater risk of all causes mortality (including death related to diabetes) in comparison to when less than 10% of the dietary calories is protein. High protein intake increases our IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor) & it’s signalling cascades are one issue.

However, people 66 & older actually see the opposite paradigm; low protein intake (under 10%) as a percent of dietary calories is a significant risk factor. The risk of cancer mortality is 60% less when total dietary calories are 20%, or more, of protein than when total dietary calories are less than 10% protein.

Likewise (once age 66) the relative risk of mortality from all causes is 28% less when calorie intake is 20%, or more from protein than when calorie intake is less than 10% from protein (even 10-19% of total calorie intake from protein reduces the all cause mortality 21% than less than 10% protein once older than 65).

See free full text on-line of (2014) assessment of 6,381 individuals reported in:
“Low protein intake is associated with a major resuctuin in IGF-1, cancer, and overall mortality in a 65 and younger but not older population”.

Reply to  gringojay
January 26, 2020 11:20 am

Edit cited title : “…reduction ….” [not resuctuin]

January 26, 2020 3:04 am

Lousy nutrition claims – red meat is no killer – that superstition was killed years ago, along with the
nonsense about saturated fats.

Gerry, England
January 26, 2020 3:04 am

I can’t help but notice the very subtle but no doubt deliberate linking of red meat and processed meat. As long as the animals have been raised properly, there is nothing wrong with eating red meat. In fact a recent article in the UK Farmer’s Guardian put forward that red meat and milk is the basis for the ideal human diet. As to processed meat – well there is a variation in that. Possibly too much salted bacon might not be good for you if the research on salt intake is correct but then how many times are told something is bad but then it’s OK? Sausages are processed meat but if prime meat is used and any additions healthy why would they be a problem?

Reply to  Gerry, England
January 26, 2020 4:25 am

Seems there is nobody able or docil to explain these “meds” the difference between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, what humans, even some monkey are ?

Reply to  Gerry, England
January 26, 2020 5:03 am

I suspect the real issue with processed meats is that much deli meat today is cured with phosphates rather than smoking and salting the old-fashioned way. This would lump processed meats in with all the other processed plant-based foods we already know are trouble: potato chips, Frosted Flakes, etc. Solution: avoid mass-produced processed food.

Reply to  Gerry, England
January 26, 2020 5:05 am

Sausages are processed meat but if prime meat is used and any additions healthy why would they be a problem?

That’s the whole point, that “if” is NEVER the case. In the UK sausages are required to have 50% “meat” but the “meat” is defined as at least 50% lean meat. So the real requirement is 25% meat. That leaves a lot of “additions”.

Look up the meat “slurry” which goes into many processed foods under the ingredients as “meat”, you’ll be sick if you see what it really is.

The “fruit” in fruit yoghurts may be far from the prime fresh fruit you imagine. I worked in food processing and when we sorted the fresh strawberries on the conveyor, leaves went in one box and spoilt/rotten fruit went in another. I later discovered why: the rotting “fruit” got pulped, sterilised and bleached yellow with SO2 and went to a food processing factory to be “fruit” content in yoghurt.

It looked and smelt like VOMIT. I have never eaten a “fruit” yoghurt since.

Reply to  Greg
January 26, 2020 5:42 am

I like fruit yoghurt.
But only selfmade one with selfmade yoghurt and fresh seasonal fruits 😀

Reply to  Gerry, England
January 26, 2020 5:06 am

when bacon and hams were smoked properly they werent much of a chem risk to health(though theres also a cancer caused by smoked food lobby)
modern ham n bacon is saltbrine.nitrite dipped and fake smoke flavoured and processed quickly for max money turnover
old salt curing used salt and a small amount of saltpetre if available then a long slow dryout in a smoke unit.
thats why an old style leg of ham would last for months in the fridge new stuff wont last 4 weeks

modern corned beef isnt a patch on the old properly salted version either

David Chappell
Reply to  ozspeaksup
January 26, 2020 6:02 am

“… an old style leg of ham would last for months…”Indeed, properly cured it did not need to be refrigerated. In my childhood we always had at least one home-cured leg wrapped in muslin hanging on the living room wall.

Reply to  Gerry, England
January 26, 2020 8:04 am

The research on salt (actual science, not dogma) says that as long as you own a working set of kidneys salt is beneficial and self-regulating. Only in highly-processed foods, mostly packaged carb products and canned soups, is added salt excessive.

As for processed meats, we’ve been doing that for thousands of years via smoking, drying, or salting. The nitrate/nitrite scare is a lie, also–our own saliva endogenously creates many hundreds of times the amount of these substances allowed in any processed meat every day. Highest food based sources of these are actually celery, spinach, lettuce! Nothing to be feared there.

What we’re really looking at with nutrition “science” is a 120+ year old astroturfing job by religious zealots who believe there’s something “righteous” about an unappetizing, unsatisfying, unnatural and inadequate diet. Looks to me like suffering might be the goal, with undertones of eugenic population control. They can hack vegetarianism, therefore they’re “The Elect,” see? Since today’s world is one of unrelenting elite virtue-signaling, the media keeps carpet-bombing us with this ad nauseum. Same old astroturfing, same old BS.

“Carbon footprint” is ENTIRELY a propaganda concept which is meaningless in real life. It’s just a way to signal for “brownie points,” the way helping old ladies across the street used to be for Boy Scouts. Any health claims attached to reducing meat consumption are so debunked by now they are spurious. You want to REALLY total your digestive and immune systems, knock yourself out trying to become an herbivore! Of course, the same clowns think we can change sex at will, too . . . biology’s not their strong point.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Goldrider
January 26, 2020 8:22 am

Spot on. I’m so sick of the vegetarian propaganda, and linking it to the “climate” bullshit just makes me hate it more. Had a nice juicy NY Strip for dinner last night, and have zero guilt for it. Nothing these Eco-Fascists say is ever going to change that.

george Tetley
January 26, 2020 3:22 am

He has ” put the cart before the horse ” First figure out how to pay for this unobtainable idea and then THIMK !

January 26, 2020 3:38 am

How’s the plant based diet working for cows and greenhouse gases? Do you think seven billion people farting methane will be a better outcome for your climate change scam?

January 26, 2020 3:41 am

Note his name and avoid him completely for medical advice. Overwhelming bio-science evidence proves diets low carb, high fat and moderate protein cure virtually all the “epidemics” caused by his diet. Follow his advice if you want to “contract” type II diabetes, Alzheimers, etc.

Reply to  cedarhill
January 26, 2020 8:10 am

I did just that and decided to have a breakfast of bacon and eggs, with a whole grain piece of toast generously buttered. I included my normal breakfast drink of a couple of cups of coffee (black).

Reply to  Scissor
January 26, 2020 12:48 pm

The worst of all worlds. Wheat is a killer carb. Read Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis.

January 26, 2020 3:43 am

The ability to predict is the best objective measure of scientific and technical competence. Note that every scary global warming and climate change prediction made by the climate alarmists has failed to materialize. Nobody should believe them – about anything..

MacRae’s Axiom:
“VIRTUALLY EVERY SCARY PREDICTION by global warming alarmists is FALSE.” 🙂

January 26, 2020 4:40 am

Hello Allan,
“Virtually every scary prediction by global warming alarmists is false.”
Presumably, by stating “Virtually” you are allowing inclusion of the “Scary Predictions” that have not yet reached their “Apocalypse-by Date”.

Walt D.
January 26, 2020 6:08 am

Allan – not an Axiom. It is an empirically based fact. (97% false ??)

Reply to  Walt D.
January 26, 2020 8:44 am

Hi Walt – I actually looked up two words before I wrote this immodest statement.

“The word “Axiom” does apply, but there is another word that has the benefit of alliteration: “MacRae’s Maxim” 🙂

A portion of the supporting evidence is provided in my latest paper:
By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng., January 10, 2020

We do agree that my statement is essentially correct, based on decades and scores of failed predictions of runaway global warming, wilder weather, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria…

“MacRae’s Axiom” aka “MacRae’s Maxim”:

ax·i·om | \ ˈak-sē-əm \
Definition of axiom
1: a statement accepted as true as the basis for argument or inference : POSTULATE sense
one of the axioms of the theory of evolution
2: an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth
cites the axiom “no one gives what he does not have”
3: a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit
the axioms of wisdom Definition of

in British English
(ˈæksɪəm )
1. a generally accepted proposition or principle, sanctioned by experience; maxim
2. a universally established principle or law that is not a necessary truth
the axioms of politics
3. a self-evident statement
4. logic, mathematics
a statement or formula that is stipulated to be true for the purpose of a chain of reasoning: the foundation of a formal deductive system

ax•i•om ăk′sē-əm►
n. A self-evident or universally recognized truth; a maxim.
n. An established rule, principle, or law.
n. A self-evident principle or one that is accepted as true without proof as the basis for argument; a postulate.

1: almost entirely : NEARLY
2: for all practical purposes
virtually unknown

January 26, 2020 3:53 am
Reply to  richard
January 26, 2020 8:13 am

I noticed that the “Black” and Decker heat gun has been cropped out of the photo. Is that racist?

January 26, 2020 3:57 am

Completely ignoring that fact that Hoomans are Carnivores is ridiculous. If he really knew what he was taking about, he’d use that old adage “everything in moderation’. That article says he can’t really make up his mind which way the wind blows on food sources, anyway.

I dare that skinny sloppy twanker to try to pry my uncured, fully-cooked ham out of my fridge. Uncured means no nitrates, less dense meat and less salty but still full of B complex vitamins and protein. And frankly, ignoring the success of Hoomans as Carnivores is denial of reality.

If he showed up as a “doctor” in my area, I’d go see a veterinarian first.

Rod Evans
January 26, 2020 4:22 am

Why oh why are these fakers given air time.
Can I also suggest the meat industry starts to fight its corner. If these diet researchers who’s only objective is to drive people into believing veg is good, meat is bad, are allowed complete freedom to strut the world stage without challenge, then don’t be surprised if they start to be believed.
I sense another tractor demo is needed.

January 26, 2020 4:26 am

I do not know if this is relevant to NZ , but in England the fruit and vegetable growing areas of East Anglia and the West Midlands and Somerset are very dependent on immigrant labour for harvesting plant products even with modern technology. By contrast rearing sheep or cattle and milking and slaughtering them requires far less labour.
If NZ relies completely on grain , vegetables and fruit are there enough people , indigenous or immigrant, willing to undertake the manual labour of harvesting at relatively low wages to make the products affordable in the stores?

Mike Lowe
Reply to  mikewaite
January 26, 2020 11:33 am

In a word “NO”! We don’t have enough such labour to pick our fruit at harvest time now.

Elle Webber
Reply to  mikewaite
January 26, 2020 3:02 pm

I don’t know about England or New Zealand, but in British Columbia cattle ranching takes place in areas and terrain where no grain, veg, or fruit will grow. It is ruminants or nothing, as far as food production goes in much of our province.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 26, 2020 4:31 am

Jono still has a lot to learn.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 26, 2020 11:34 am

As do his parents, who could not correctly spell his name!

January 26, 2020 4:49 am

Increased uptake of plant-based diets in New Zealand could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while greatly improving population health and saving the healthcare system billions of dollars in the coming decades.

Great. Bring your innovation to the market. It will be a big hit. NO ACTIVISM NEEDED.

Reply to  chaamjamal
January 26, 2020 5:08 am

well someone will be HIT thats for sure;-)
with luck it will be jonno

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  chaamjamal
January 26, 2020 8:31 am

Let’s do a little corrective surgery on that statement.

“Increased uptake of plant-based diets in New Zealand will not have any meaningful effect on greenhouse gas emissions, and will result in massive detriment to population health and will cost the healthcare system billions of dollars in the coming decades.”

January 26, 2020 5:06 am

It is believed that it was the change to a higher protein diet that resulted when hominids came out of the trees and actively sought meat to eat which led to the expansion of the brain. I wonder if this pin head has been practicing what he is preaching?

Reply to  rah
January 26, 2020 8:16 am

He would appear to be a soy boy.

Reply to  Scissor
January 26, 2020 5:55 pm

a pin-head soy-boy with a pencil neck and schiff eyes !

January 26, 2020 5:11 am

The first thing I thought of when I saw a picture of Jono Drew is that guy could use a really really good hamburger. I swear this is true: a really good homemade hamburger with a slice of thick cheddar cooked on my own grill improves my mood significantly. I feel so much better after eating it. The same is true when I have a nice steak.

Reply to  Wade
January 26, 2020 8:20 am

I think you’re right. He’s a handsome young man but he has a gaunt look about the eyes and his hair on the top of his head doesn’t have much luster and looks like that of a middle aged individual.

January 26, 2020 5:16 am

I cannot help but wonder where cattle and sheep get the materials from to produce their massive emissions. If we eliminate such livestock what happens to the plant growth that they presently feed off? On grassland that is left alone new growth is visible on top of old growth that is rotting. So we will be left with no net change in emissions other than it does not pass through the livestock.
This is reminiscent of the attempts to blame hydro-electric dams for leaf matter rotting within the dam.
Or… Have I misunderstood?

p.s. I am not (Jono) Drew!

old white guy
January 26, 2020 5:33 am

of course we will never over use the soil. well, we do have chemical fertilizers to bump it back up again.

David Chappell
January 26, 2020 6:05 am

In what way are “cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and certain cancers” climate-polluting?

January 26, 2020 6:11 am

We accepted the plant food bogeyman as Gospel and then decided unanimously you deplorables should all be on a strict plant diet for your own good.

January 26, 2020 6:37 am

Well, a plant based diet would cut down on the number of corona virus outbreaks. 🙂

Elle Webber
Reply to  Ric Werme
January 26, 2020 3:07 pm

I’m not so sure. If all farmed animals were annihilated, fertilizer for all that grain and veg and fruit will have to be human-sourced. And the reason we don’t do that now is because of the diseases humans excrete. Think of all those e-coli warnings on lettuces and strawberries each year—and triple or quadruple the problem.

Curious George
January 26, 2020 7:37 am

“Well-designed public policy is needed worldwide”. Down with democracy!

maker mark
January 26, 2020 8:27 am

i think venezuala is well on the path to implementing this and reducing CO2 emissions significantly

AGW is Not Science
January 26, 2020 8:35 am

To retread an old cigarette slogan:

I’d rather fight (any and all efforts to force a deficient diet down my throat) than switch (to a “plant based” garbage diet)!”

Rich Davis
January 26, 2020 8:39 am

Another typical steaming pile of EurekAlert! nonsense.

There aren’t even half as many people in all of New Zealand as there are in Wuhan (less than 4.8M vs 11M). Frankly nothing that kiwis do or don’t do has any significant impact on the planet.

Having or not having 30 million sheep also has little to no significant impact on anything. That’s less than 3% of the world sheep population. China alone has nearly 7 times as many sheep. (~195M)

Rhys Jaggar
January 26, 2020 8:42 am

I wonder whether this opportunist has the moral balls to say ‘First thing we should do is ban all hamburgers, fries and fizzy drinks in MacDonalds, Burger King and similar joints’?

Of course he would not. He would get a rapid call from the Dean of his Medical School telling him to STFU or else.

Rhys Jaggar
January 26, 2020 8:45 am

A ‘medical student’ as ‘lead researcher’/

That is a novel concept. When I was a PhD student (akin to being a medical student currently in clinical preregistration studies), lead researchers tended to be Professors, at the very least lecturers or Research Fellows.

For such a person to have influence on national government policy suggests that ‘ask those with no experience’ is now the de facto standard for government decision-making.


January 26, 2020 8:53 am

If it’s out of a University, 97% chance it’s fake/fishing for grants.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  beng135
January 26, 2020 7:57 pm

My thoughts exactly.

Patrick Hrushowy
January 26, 2020 9:12 am

No two digestive systems are equal, …mindful and aware folks should be left alone to write their own personal dietary program. Those who have become addicted to fast and processed food will do whatever they will do. None of us need so-called science dictate what we eat.

Joel O'Bryan
January 26, 2020 9:13 am

What is killing people on the “Western” diet is not meats and processed foods per se. It is the modern introduction of sugar loading and resultant insulin signalling.
It is clear that “paleo diets” and keto-centric diets do have merit as long as they are moderate and not extreme. And a regular fasting of 72 hours once a month will have dramatic effects on long-term health. Of course regular exercise, even in just the form of walking 100 minutes everyday, also brings substantial offsetting health benefits to countering even a poor diet.

The insulin signaling on metabolism leads to insulin resistance (genetic background plays a large role in this as well), altered calorie storage, development of adipose tissue, and the long-term effects of all that on health that is leading to elevated rates of CVD, high blood pressure, strokes, and even sugar-fueled tumor growth.

We see this vividly in Samoan populations, Native American populations, populations with genetic backgrounds that were based on regular periods of near-starvation, and no access to high carbohydrate (sugar) foods.
The source of protein is not the problem, as suggested by Mr Jono Drew. His is just an agenda-driven proclamation. Rational analyses make clear it is excessive carbohydrate driven calories and insulin signaling in genetic backgrounds not able to cope with that, which is driving a higher Metabolic Syndrome X, CVD, high blood pressure, heart disease/failure, and stroke risks.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 26, 2020 10:41 am

modern introduction of sugar loading and resultant insulin signalling

Agree. Below youtube says they get people off insulin by diet alone (occasionally supplemented by fasting):

January 26, 2020 9:25 am

Thank you Mr Rotter for that information. I will consider it,

Now stand back and respect my choices.

January 26, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what I hear:

We are giving you people a choice. But be careful. I if you make the wrong choice we will take away your ability choose.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 26, 2020 9:41 am

A herbivorous diet a cure for diabetes, cardiovascular ills and cancer????

Utter nonsense. Diabetes and cardio stuff is most prevalent on the Indian subcontinent where many people are vegetarians. And a cure for cancer is just utter nonsense bordering on deliberate falsehood.

Andy Pattullo
January 26, 2020 9:44 am

The epidemic of obesity and diabetes occurred while we followed dubious (based on unsound science) guidelines to reduce consumption of red meat/saturated fats and replaced most of the calories with carbohydrates, vegetable fats and manufactured trans fats. The very belated review of those long lasting guidelines is only recently pulling back the curtain on how bad that advice was and what harm it may have done. Recently (November 2019) the Annals of Internal Medicine published several review studies on the evidence on red meat cardiovascular disease and cancer. Those studies found that there is no reliable evidence of health benefit on which to base recommendations to reduce consumption of red meat.

So “co-benefits” is not a claim supported by science. That leaves the reduction in CO2 emissions as the only theoretical benefit of a plant based (silly term as all food is essentially plant or photosynthesis-based) and that is founded on two assumptions. The first is that they have an accurate model that truly reflects the CO2 emission impact of any particular segment of food production and consumption. The second is that there actually is a benefit to reducing CO2 emissions, a claim that remains theoretical and for which there is no objective reliable evidence. All we have are climate models and a very wide range of estimated climate sensitivities that failed to converge on a common supported number over several decades, and a belief without evidence that mild climate warming is primary due to CO2 and dangerous in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Please pass the steak sauce.

John Robertson
January 26, 2020 10:44 am

Guess my midnight comment was too toxic.
New Zealand had no large meat bearing critters prior to the arrival of european explores,the flightless birds having been eaten and cannibalism was part of the native culture.
A friend of mine brags of his grandfather being banished to the Chattam Islands because of his refusal to give up the “old ways”.
These “experts “better hope they fail,or they might become that famous side dish Puha & Pakeha.

January 26, 2020 11:44 am

Need an Amendment in the US banning governments from discriminating against omnivores. I don’t want to be forced to buy bacon, barbecue, or beef on the blackmarket.

Edward Joseph Tiegs
January 26, 2020 12:11 pm

Breaking News!!!!
Eating plants is healthier and less climate damaging says some guy.
Why did no one else ever think this up?

michael hart
January 26, 2020 1:22 pm

It’s not as simple as he probably thinks. It never is.

Some meat products, such as the cured meats found in the “Mediterranean diet” are actually associated with decreased cardiovascular disease risk. This is likely due to the nitrates and nitrites used in the curing process. (The leafy green vegetables associated with the diet are also a rich natural source of nitrates/nitrites.)

Ian Coleman
January 26, 2020 7:53 pm

I have yet to meet a vegetarian who wasn’t a survivor of some sort of severe emotional trauma. In fact anybody who worries and tinkers with his diet is usually just an obsessive fool who is overly anxious about aging. I’m 67 and I am telling you, no matter what you eat or what exercises you do, you will suffer the deficits of aging. I have quite a few friends in their 70s and 80s, and all of them have long since lost the resilience and energy and natural exuberance of youth. We’re mortal, and you can’t eat your way out of it.

Who’s that guy? Michael Pollan? His advice is, eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. Yeah? Would you rather be a wolf or a caribou?

January 26, 2020 11:38 pm

I liked Billy Connoly’s comment that if you follow all the guidelines about diet, alcohol, smoking and exercise it might give you another ten years of life.
The only problem is that it comes at the end of your life when you are probably in a care home.
He would prefer the extra ten years when he was thirty and able to make better use of it.
Edited to
As regards nitrates, there was a big scare in the 1970s with claims that nitrates in drinking water causing stomach cancer and blue baby syndrome.
There was only one case of blue baby that occurred in Lincolnshire which was traded to contaminated well water that caused an upset stomach and nitrites being converted to nitrosamine which in turn caused the blue baby symptoms.
Research done on ammonium nitrate plant workers showed no increase in stomach cancers, and IIRC nitrates are supposed to have some benefits on heart health. Eat up your green salads.
The problem with nitrates is more with the eutrophication of rivers and lakes, along with phosphates, that causes excessive vegetation and algal growth.

January 27, 2020 8:29 am

Just another fad-driven salvo in The Meat Wars. A sure-to-be-published paper that depends on earlier, invalid, faddish papers already “in the literature”… deatrhly silly.

Meatless Diet?

Modern Scientific Controversies Part 7: The Meat War

The Meat Wars: JAMA Stirs the Pot

Johann Wundersamer
February 7, 2020 7:07 am

The same lies, the same fake news spinning over and over again:

“The researchers argue that these findings should prompt national policy action, including revising the New Zealand dietary guidelines to include messaging on climate-friendly food choices. They also advocate for the implementation of other policy tools, such as pricing strategies, labeling schemes, and food procurement guidelines for public institutions.

“Well-designed public policy is needed worldwide to support the creation of a global food system that no longer exacerbates the climate crisis, nor the burden of non-communicable disease,” Mr Drew says.”


Is New Zealand a healthy country?

New Zealand health system compared to OECD averages

Overall, New Zealanders live relatively long and healthy lives.

Life expectancy at birth sits at 81.4 years, above the OECD average of 80.5 years.

It is below that of Australia, at 82.2 years, but higher than in the UK, at 81.1 years.Sep 19, 2017 › new-zealands…

Johann Wundersamer
February 7, 2020 11:57 am

Charles Rotter is the truffle hog for the most odorous Internet fake news.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights