Kelly Parsons, University of Hertfordshire and David Barling, University of Hertfordshire
Reforming England’s food system could save the country £126 billion, according to a recent government-commissioned report. The National Food Strategy, led by British businessman Henry Dimbleby, proposes a raft of measures to shake up how food is produced and the kinds of diets most people eat.
The need for action is laid out in stark terms. Poor diets contribute to around 64,000 deaths every year in England, and the government spends £18 billion a year treating obesity-related conditions. How we grow food accounts for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions and is the leading cause of biodiversity destruction.
To meet these challenges, the report calls for “escaping the junk food cycle” to improve general health and reduce the strain on the NHS, reducing the gap in good diets between high- and low-income areas, using space more efficiently to grow food so that more land can return to nature, and creating a long-term shift in food culture.
The strategy is, in parts, highly ambitious, particularly in its framing of the challenge as a systemic issue, and in some of the more innovative measures it proposes.
These include the world’s first sugar and salt reformulation tax, aimed at forcing manufacturers to make the foods they sell healthier – by reformulating recipes to remove sugar and salt – and raising around £3 billion for the Treasury in the process. Companies would also have to report how healthy and sustainable their food sales are. Cannily, the strategy team persuaded some companies to come out in favour of the proposals, which suggests they’re serious about seeing their ideas implemented and attuned to the government’s nervousness around upsetting the food industry.
The Eatwell Guide, which shows what proportion of our diet should come from each food group, would be based not only on the healthiness of certain foods, but their environmental sustainability too. This reference diet would underpin government decisions, and help ensure food policies are consistent with what is good for people and the planet.
The strategy takes a commendably bold stance on the government’s approach to trade policy, making clear that not honouring a manifesto commitment to protect food standards could bankrupt Britain’s farming sector.
At the same time, the strategy is politically pragmatic, clearly crafted with an eye on what what is likely to be winnable within the current government. As such, some politically-contentious issues are sidestepped.
The strategy sets a goal of reducing meat consumption by 30% over ten years, but shies away from interventions to tackle this head on, with a meat tax discounted as “politically impossible”.
The report notably fails to address the poorly paid, precarious and often dangerous jobs of food workers, in agriculture and hospitality. The report details how the problems with food are systemic, but misses the chance to make the link between poor working conditions in the sector and food insecurity and health. The terrible irony of “critical workers” like farmers, fishers and catering staff that feed many of us is that they’re unable to afford to eat well themselves.
The scale of the challenge has led to calls for a new minister for hunger, a cabinet sub-committee on food, or an independent food body. The strategy opts instead for a Good Food Bill with statutory targets around diet-related health and reporting. It also favours expanding the remit of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to encompass health and sustainability and calls for improved monitoring and measurement of the food system and the policies linked to it.
If enacted, these proposals could benefit food policymaking, but they’d leave the difficult question of how different government departments can coordinate on the issue untouched. Expanding an existing body may be politically expedient, but does the non-ministerial FSA have the clout and capacity to drive reform in the many other departments with a hand in food policy?
An ambitious and innovate strategy in parts, and wise for its political astuteness. Whether it has achieved the right balance will become clearer in the next phase, when the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs delivers its response. The recommendations will need to survive the political jungle and overcome obstacles both bureaucratic and ideological.
Should they make it through in one piece, these policies could tackle some of the biggest challenges related to food. But more importantly, the strategy could disrupt the politics and ideas about what people should want from their food system, and give licence to additional policy interventions in trade, meat and jobs.
Kelly Parsons, Food Systems Policy & Governance Research Fellow, University of Hertfordshire and David Barling, Professor of Food Policy and Security, Director of the Centre for Agriculture, Food and Environmental Management, University of Hertfordshire
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
My guess is that vegans will attempt to declare that only their preferences are sustainable and healthy. Any attempt to dictate food policy will be overwhelmingly political.
Plant live matters !
Bacterial lives matter!
All of the proposals, if enacted, will be a continuation of racist white majority government.
Therefore we should just condemn & then ignore all proposals like the ones in the post.
Ugly racism, in all of it’s forms, should be condemned.
Don’t be a racist, eat what you want.
I love vegans.
Sheep and cows are vegans, so that I don’t have to be!
I love vegans too but I couldn’t manage a whole one.
God no – not at one sitting but that’s what the freezer is there for!
Personally, I find them tasteless and bland.
That’s due to lack of salt in the diet.
Hmmm … that too, eh? I was thinking in a different context 🙂
Salt, pepper, and smoke, all’s good.
A new Minister for Hunger and yet another bloated government department stuffed with overpaid, corrupt officials.
We condemn ‘developing’ nations (no idea why we call them that as most of them haven’t developed much for the last 50 years despite all the cash the west throws at them) for having corrupt government officials hoovering up most of the cash before it reaches where it should reach, but I’m certain the west is no better.
Before the current Government’s austerity programme we didn’t need food banks as there wasn’t hunger in the UK.
The UK wasn’t a third world country before the current Government’s failed economic policies sent us backwards in absolute terms as well as relatively.
The problem is far more complex than M Courtney is claiming. It has nothing to do with “austerity” and if you need evidence of that just look at the relationship between obesity and income. Obesity is a much bigger problem in poorer areas.
This is a classic example of the politicisation of science. Never mind the facts just make an absurd claim and hope some of it will stick.
The same thing happens here in Africa – the poor eat badly (mainly starches) and as a result, tend to obesity. You only have to look at a picture of South African police officers to see the result!
In the U.S. it used to be that only certain decently healthy foods were available to be purchased with food stamps. That time is long past.
Twaddle – there’s always been hunger in the UK, and there have always been charities who have done their best to deal with the problem. Food banks have become a thing for the media and lefty-chatterati to harp on about as it gives them a chance to have a go at Conservative governments. Food banks (or their equivalents) have always been available in the UK for the severely impoverished. It’s not some new thing that came about because of a Conservative government.
The reason austerity measures had to be put in place was because the Conservatives inherited a bankrupt country from the previous Labour administration who had spaffed it all up the wall on loony socialist schemes. Socialism is just fine, until you run out of money.
And here are the facts. See link – hunger is a Conservative Party failure.
• UK foodbank users 2021 | Statista
It’s austerity that caused the problem. There are always Global Crises that cause poverty. It was a political decision to cut Government and so delay the recovery. As well of hitting the poorest worst.
The funny thing is that this failure is even a failure on Conservative terms. The UK had the slowest recovery of any major economy because it is the innovation of the majority (the poorest) that stimulate growth.
Do food banks not work? Or is your concern that those who don’t contribute to society should not have their dignity bruised by having to acknowledge the fact?
The data in your link is disingenuous:
There were always charities giving out food. “Food Banks” are just a recent method/buzz phrase for giving out food, hence the increase in numbers of food banks and subsequent increase in the number of people using them. It’s akin to saying that because there are more branches of McDonalds now in the UK than in the 1970s we now like burgers more than we used to do. Not true: we just went to Wimpy in the 70s.
In addition, the increase in poverty (and hence more reliance on charitable assistance with regards to food) is because the previous Labour administration shafted the economy, which always hits the poorest hardest.
I agree this current Conservative government is beyond useless, particularly with regards to the Covid fiasco, the CAGW obsession, and the malevolent “levelling up” agenda. However, they inherited an absolute economic mess from the previous Labour “there’s no money left” administration. Just as Margaret Thatcher’s government inherited a financial basket case handed to them by the Labour govt of the previous decade.
The left always detested Thatcher, which demonstrated she must have been doing a good job, as the left hate to see success. I wish Maggie was alive once more to lead us out of the recent carnage Boris has brought upon us.
The UK debt as a percentage of GDP is bumping 100%. France is right about there too, while Germany is much lower at 70%
The UK government is spending money hand over fist.
Free food? Yes, please! That way I can spend my money at the betting shop, on booze and fags, and that all important Sky subscription to go with my super wide TV – what’s not to like.
You left out the drug addicts.
I will no longer give to food banks because too many drug addicts use them
@M Courtney, has it occurred to you that the more foodbanks there are, the more people will use them? ie, you might have got the causality backwards?
As for “austerity”, it just means the government doesn’t deficit finance its spending (ie, doesn’t borrow).
Exactly how much of the costs of our present consumption is it OK to heap on the shoulders of future generations? And why?
And no, the borrowing is not for “investment” – the ratio of government debt to gdp is rising every year. If the spending were a genuine “investment”, you’d expect the debt to drop.
The poor innovate? Really? Why are they poor, then?
Until you run out of other people’s money
Does the UK still have conservatives? Who are they and where are they hiding?
True conservative MPs are becoming a rare breed these days.
The same question applies for Australia. I’ve heard the word conservatives thrown around for a long time now, but I haven’t seen yet a politician that fits the description
Me too. Where are they all hiding … or have they all been cancelled?
Maybe Liz Truss? She still believes women are women at least. Kemi Badendoch also seems quite good at destroying the race grifters at least.
You seem to be saying there could be some hope. Good news 🙂
I wouldn’t say too much… Pritti Patel wants to ban wolf-whistling with the support of many other conservatives. Madness.
What an utterly frivolous and pointless use of a minister’s time. I didn’t think virtue signalling was a ministerial duty … but they sure do learn it very quickly. Isn’t there something of greater importance she could find to do.
How in hell do you enforce such a ban … and what would be the punishment? “Wah – wah- wah … he whistled at me wantonly!” or “He looked at me lewdly!” I thought women wanted the world to take them seriously.
Couple of big problems with your ‘UK government austerity created the need for foodbanks’. Firstly it isn’t just a problem for the UK, this has happened across Europe and the USA. Increased use of food banks or food aid charities has increased over the last few years in many more countries than the UK. Germany has seen an increase from zero to over a million food bank users in just a few years. Second – the increases in food bank uses match the poorer areas and increased use of renewable energy – it’s more about fuel poverty. Scotland has coincidentally the largest amount of renewables (Increased energy prices) and the highest number of food bank users in the UK. Those that try to use Tory austerity cuts as a political scapegoat for failed policies are simply ignorant political hacks – they did have an impact, but not as bad as some activists would have you believe (and no, the excess deaths of 2014/15 were not due to Tory austerity cuts either – the European Health studies clearly show a Europe-wide pattern of excess deaths linked to a bad flu season and other contributing factors).
The increase in food banks in the west matches the steady loss in productivity
Is there a connection between the lock downs and fiscal poverty?
Come on M Courtney, we know your political leaning but that is a ludicrous statement
M. Courtney, this was already done in Canada on 2019. Here’s a quote on the food guidelines that says it all.
“Vegetarians and vegans from Halifax to Whitehorse applauded their leaders’ dietary wisdom.”
‘leader’? The PM? The health minister? I lost the link. They also removed dairy as a food group! Children won’t know what a Mooo is.
If austerity has caused poor diet, then I assume lunatic policies like Lockdown, hosing Billions in every direction, will be just the ticket for (the normally rational) M. Courtney.
But I’m afraid I have zero point zero confidence in current politicians’ ability to make sensible recommendations (let alone regulations) on my diet, or indeed on anything else.
And with apologies to the two authors of this piece, I have similar reservations about anything Academia produces.
Our toxic western governments have collaborated in the two greatest and most destructive frauds ever perpetrated against humanity – the global warming (aka “climate change”) scam and the Covid-19 lockdown scam.
Then the elitists falsely linked the two frauds, stating that “to solve Covid, we must also solve climate change”, an utterly imbecilic falsehood, not even credible enough to be specious.
Their solution to these false crises is the Great Reset, where a few rich Princes rule us all,
looking down on all the poor slaves – the Marxist Chinese Communist Party model.
Let’s be blunt – these Marxist elitists are traitors, and should be tried and sentenced for high crimes against humanity. They have cost us trillions of dollars in squandered global resources, and destroyed millions of lives. They should never be trusted.
Now our governments want to control food policy – this will not end well.
Alan, there is another destructive government fraud you omitted. The food guide.
We’ve been told for 60 years that cholesterol causes heart disease, but it is evident that heart disease is caused by the inflammatory foods we were told to eat… seeds, polyunsaturated oils, sugar. The keto movement isn’t just about obesity.
Government control based on bad science.
I couldn’t agree more, David.
Don’t forget they started with the low-fat diet hoax that led diabetes rates to skyrocket! The sugars and simple carbs that were added to replace healthy fats and oils have caused a huge increase in obesity and diabetes, and are probably linked to mental problems like the severe delusional states of liberalism!
My oh my, another cabinet ministry. What are the implications for the Ministry of Silly Walks budget? No doubt more shameful cuts!
Food policy? That’s a matter for central government? In a free country it’s a matter of individual choice. Cry for my ancestral homeland.
An interesting perspective on the lack of development, the continuation of poverty, and perhaps the real reason for control of food
The first step toward government dictating what we eat, and its only a matter of time before insects become the main course, because climate.
And so it begins.
As long as I can drink beer to wash them down because grasshopper antenna tend to tickle the throat. Carbonated beverages are to be allowed aren’t they?
No. Carbon dioxide in drinks is verboten. Only beer made from organic, vegan ingredients from radical feminist farm collectives will be allowed and even then it will have the alcohol removed to avoid harm to others. Orwell should have written about “Big Nanny” not “Big Brother”.
No, Orwell was 100% correct about Big Brother, he just got the enemy wrong.
Instead of an actual, physical EastAsia to “fight” against, we have something much more ephemeral: Climate Change.
You got that right. Rabid feminism was the first Marxist group to become normalized. It has opened the door to all the others. “Big Nanny” is spot on.
Not for the elite. They’ll still be dining on filet mignon and wagu beef whilst the plebs eat soylent green.
It is a government-commissioned report. Don’t you feel warm already knowing that the government really cares?
Did any government ever commission a report on how to streamline the government?
But the Civil Service, unhappily, lost it . . .
And Soylent Green I Right around the corner.
As I’ve said before the Welsh government are one of the leading lights in railroading environmental legislation, heres one were they are being challenged through the courts
If the farmers don’t succeed a lot of farms will go out of business,the policy is designed without taking into consideration the Welsh government’s own reports on water quality.
For a few years we have seen propaganda through advertising, eat rich in protein bugs, a sudden increase in advertising of meat free foods , and buy boxed food to feed a family for a week= essentially rationing the amount of so called healthy food a family needs,sold via the reasoning of convenience and health.
Any one who tries to stop me having a “full English” breakfast, especially when I’m on holiday will lose my vote! Anthea
Yum, with fat pork sausages and eggs. I had that on a trip over in 2005. Do they still serve this? BTW I am lean and healthy
Curious obfuscation. I always thought that “legal matters” was the fundamental bedrock of government.
Yes I agree, but they have potentially acted illegally, thats why the court process has allowed a hearing ,again I think the Welsh government are taking orders from somewhere else.
Orders based on the ideology: ‘You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy’
I agree, another angle we have to consider, the Welsh government are a devolved administration, from the UK government, they only have certain powers ,unfortunately the environment is one of the devolved powers, their actually showing that when their given powers,responsibilities they ignore democracy, they ignore their own government departments and in this instance I suspect what they call evidence is minimal, hyped up and some examples nothing to do with farming.
This is what happens when you have a socialist government pampering for recognition on the world stage,willing to follow orders from unelected bodies around the world.
the boxed food while sort of crazy cost wise etc ISnt a bad idea to get people used to eating appropriate volumes of food
I have my mums old cookbooks and the amounts per serve are way less than present ones per head. and obesity back then really WAS a medical issue like thyroid or diabetes. even in the 60s to70s at school we usually only had a couple of fat kids per class , now its the opposite _find the thin ones!!
I find I eat about half of what is considered an average serve and due to age illness etc still managed to gain 10kg over 3 or more yrs;-((
I don’t agree Oz and heres why, its yet another business sold on convenience, I don’t believe anyone does not know or have a inklings of whats healthy or not, its a choice,a choice I believe these companies would rather you made on the back of convenience.
Its too easy one might say with the mind site of ordering food to order a greasey unhealthy meal ,thats the mind set ,the mind set these companies would rather like you to have.
Then there’s the lack of choice, sure the menus might be varied but that’s not the same as going to a grocery, supermarket, butchers ,chosing your own ingredients , I would prefer to choose the quality, the amount of food I eat at a sitting not have it dictated to me.
I don’t want to see the above outlets to loose yet more customers to convenience shopping , I don’t want to pay over the odds in the name of convenience,
As a matter of choice sure people should have convenience shopping if they wish, the supermarkets already cater for this and some local grocery shops, the big difference is ,they don’t dictate how much food I should or should not eat.
then there’s the social cost ,for some a trip round the shops is the only contact they have with people , a chance to chat to others in their local area, I would not want to see anything that discourages human to human contact, so thats my point we can already cater for the ill,infirm ,the busy people, these new kids on the block are in my mind doctoral,following a agenda , I personally find them rather patronizing.
Portion sizes have grown along with the size of the humans eating them – and I do not mean being overweight.
My 14 year old son is taller than me and weighs as much as I did when I hit 40. He is thin, muscular, very active and does high-intensity sport 6 times a week. He eats more than I do as a result. All the kids (17-20 years olds) at my Muay Thai and Karate classes are taller and bigger than myself and all will eat more than the old standard portion in any old cookbook.
Modern medicine and healthy food are creating bigger people requiring bigger portion sizes. The trouble is, as soon as these kids stop exercising the weight starts to pile on as people are not good at scaling back what they eat to match their energy burn.
A South African colleague said to me once his wife was always saying “your body is a bank, if you keep making deposits and spend nothing you build up savings”, trouble was he liked his food! The solution is not controlled portion sizes (my son would start eating his arm!) but educating people to match the amount they eat to the amount of activity they do – real activity though, not the self-deluding type.
“by reformulating recipes to remove sugar and salt” – Check Low salt diets and diabetes.
I think and hope, they talk more about the hidden salt and sugar components in fast food.
And other things contained in fast food.
I saw an article the other day where a woman had a glass display case and on each shelf she had an example of a fast food, a pizza and a McDonald’s hamburger, for example, and she had many examples from all sorts of fast food places, and all the displays looked like she had just gone out and bought them that day, but she said all of them were months to over a year old.
What chemical would keep these fast foods looking fresh for months?
I saw another display once where another woman had a McDonald’s Happy Meal displayed underneath a glass cover with the top bun moved aside so you could see the contents of the burger, and there was an order of French fries there, too, and all of them looked like they had just been purchased, but she said the display was almost two years old. The bun, the meat, the lettuce, the pickel and the french fries all looked fresh. How do they do that? What are they putting in our food?
I don’t know what she’s doing differently, but a 3-day old McDonald’s hamburger in this house looks extremely unappetizing.
They made them from plastic?
Like the food displays in Japanese restaurants.
Salt is essential for everyone and not a concern for healthy people.
Only those with a genetic predisposition to high blood pressure really need to monitor their salt intake.
weight loss has far greater impact on blood pressure than salt ever will.
In NZ the table salt is iodised to help prevent goitre in the population
That has been true in the U.S.since the early part of the 20th century. These days less so because the woke health nuts see iodine as poisonous.
How to make poor people even poorer
The health fascists are in the ascendancy and you will do as you’re told… They know what is best…
Which lunatic came up with the idea of fruit and vegetables prescribed by a doctor?
All doubt about whether vegetarian/vegan-isms are political animals is out there now. Of course, as with all political constructs there are the innocent Brooklyn Bridge purchasers.
This is Ehrlich’s prediction panning out.
It has actually been ongoing since well before Ehrlich realised
It was well advanced through the Middle and Dark Ages, when life expectancy fell off a cliff – from the Biblical “Three Score plus Ten” to whatever it was then, circa mid-forties?
“Oh” you say, “it was because of disease, pestilence and overwork, optionally to include Crap Naturally Varying Weather”
Yes it was.
No need for anymore, you’ve heard it all from me before.
Apart from this nugget from the Eatwell Guide:
“Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates”
PS When I talk about ‘sugar’, I mean Glucose = what has got to be The Most Perfect Poison there could ever be.
Tasteless, Addictive, Slow-acting and it completely destroys minds as well as bodies.
As recommended and increasingly enforced by science and government
We Are In So Much Trouble Here
To be fair, the brain does run on glucose, showing that it doesn’t completely destroy minds.
There is no need for glucose in the diet. There are no dietary essential carbohydrates , unlike protein and fat.
Tell that to the three billion people who consume rice every day and have consumed rice for the past few thousand years.
It’s probably time you let them know, don’t you think?
Come on Klem,
There is no dietary need to intake alcohol but billions do it every day, and have for thousands of years! (Not an actual factual statement because there have not been BILLIONS of people for thousands of years. Hell, the world didn’t hit ONE billion until just over 200 years ago, and 3 billion till just about 60 years ago)
So respond to his post that stated FACT, not just some nonsensical “Tell that to”.
Without protein intake, you will die. Without the rice you are referencing, you will be fine.
Yawn..Tell it to the 3 billion, Drake.
Big difference between consuming and essential. Check the definitions.
There are very specific cells in the brain that operate on glucose and your liver is more than capable of manufacturing that glucose.
More and more research is showing that Alzheimer’s is actually due to a the brain’s inability to no longer utilize glucose for energy. These brains cells are starving even though they’re awash in glucose.
Amy Berger has done some amazing work on the topic – here’s a presentation she did a couple years ago that explains what’s going on.
Totally wrong, Tinny! The brain needs fat in good measure.
The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat. We’ve learned in recent years that fatty acids are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain’s integrity and ability to perform. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are required for maintenance of optimal health but they can not synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. Clinical observation studies has related imbalance dietary intake of fatty acids to impaired brain performance and diseases.”
Neuronal tissues maintain lipid “pools” for their messaging function.
This should be a public health alert because I suspect, even the large proportion of smart folk who congregate at WUWT. do not know this! They wont mention it in schools or gov food rules.
Do vegans have a pill for that? If not they are becoming stupider every
Peta, your history is off. In early Europe, sugar was rare and highly priced. The most common sweetener was honey. Sugar was not widely available until it began to be imported in quantity from the colonial plantations in the 17th century. By the later 18th century, plantation (cane) sugar was so in demand that a disruption in imports contributed to the unrest that led to the French revolution.
Actually Peta is correct – the problem is the definition of “sugar”. Every simple carbohydrate you eat is turned into glucose by your body. So the potatoes she mentions are starch, but once you ingest them they’re sugar.
Correct, but she also says glucose completely destroys minds.
In which case, we’d all be dead.
Glucose is the fuel the body runs on. It is also produce from protein if carbohydrates are not available.
Fructose, on the other hand, is 1/2 of sugar, once that sugar reaches the stomach. Fructose has its uses in the muscles, mainly during heavy physical activity, but by a completely different biochemical path than glucose. Excess fructose, i.e. any not used quickly, is process by the liver into fat and stored around the central body organs. Then it is hard to use without extended physical activity, when no more fructose is incoming, or during extended fasting.
It storage leads to the same liver deterioration as heavy alcohol consumption.
I’m afraid you’re wrong: sugar was not grown in Europe in the Middle Ages as the climate wasn’t right for growing sugar cane. It was imported from the Middle East and was a luxury good that only the richest, such as royalty, could afford. It wasn’t until the 1500s when sugar was grown in the Americas that it slowly became more widely used in the common person’s diet.
A quick history of sugar
You’re also wrong about potatoes being in European diets in the Middle Ages. Potatoes weren’t brought back from the Americas until the 1500s.
Peta is speaking of grains, and later, potatoes, which are metabolized into sugar in the human body, just as alcohol is.
Peta posts often regarding the hazards of the modern diet. Just look at the “Food Pyramid” that I grew up on in the early 60s (although Wiki says it was introduced in 1992, what a crock!) The base is grains, something wholly unneeded by the human body. But grains are cheep and a small farmed area can “feed” many.
Alcohol isn’t metabolised into sugar, though. The liver metabolises excess alcohol into fatty acids.
Just like it does with fructose.
The sugar beet started it’s career in end 18th begin 19th century thanks Napoleons import block from the colonies for a certain time.. But later, the prices for sugar canes were much lower and the production of sugar beet decreased,, but not so in France.
The new increase started, as agriculture got more and more mechanised
It is sustainably green to eat what cows eat rather than cows.
It is sustainably green to eat what bugs eat rather than bugs.
“Soylent Green is people!”
The film of that name is set in 2022. Tick tick tick Tik Tok
“It is sustainably green to eat what cows eat rather than cows.
It is sustainably green to eat what bugs eat rather than bugs.”
Not so. By the same token you could claim that it was “sustainably green” to eat what plants eat rather than plants. Unfortunately it is not true – it ignores the “value added” concentration and alteration of the food passing through other organisms.
If all you eat is what cows eat, grass and grains, you will die, soon. If you eat cows, you should live to some ripe old age, all things considered.
Except Soylent Green predicted a world in which 40 million people lived in New York City (in our reality it is about a quarter of that), food was incredibly scarce (in our reality about three-quarters of the population is overweight and nearly half are obese due to an abundance of food), and protests were dealt with by bringing in the scoops (alas, in our reality, they are allowed to fester indefinitely until police stations are burned down, courthouses are besieged, and autonomous zones are established).
40 million people lived in NYC because the government had forced them all into the city to free up land for farming. The film (and the book) were made while the agricultural revolution was still in process, and were based on predictions that the US would run out of farm land by the turn of the century.
The idea of moving everyone into cities to “save the planet” is still core to a lot of the weird green ideas being pushed.
Uhrlich was wrong but the movie was based on the belief he had a clue which, to this day, he does not.
Yep, like every other prediction made by the Malthusians.
But as griff helpfully pointed out, it’s because we heeded the warnings of the scientists.
In 1973, world population was 3.9 billion. We were told that it was urgent to reduce population. Now it’s only 7.9 billion.
We were being warned that the fossil fuels we were burning were causing an early return of an ice age. It was urgent that we stop burning fossil fuels.
In 1973 we emitted 17 Gt/yr CO2. In 2019 it was only 33.4 Gt/yr.
So don’t say the Malthusians were wrong. We avoided the problems they predicted by cutting population and eliminating fossil fuel use. Isn’t it obvious?
Over to you, griff, for further teaching…
Malthusians and eugenics, still going strong after all these years.
An interesting take — it isn’t just people
,,,eat what bugs eat ….
A billion flies can’t be wrong : eat sh1t!
Fact check: TRUE
Cannily, the Convers[at]ion team left a lot out of their article….
Sugar and salt should be taxed and vegetables prescribed by the NHS
GPs could prescribe fruit and vegetables under National Food Strategy proposals
What planet are the academics on?
Being poor is expensive. Poor households pay more for energy, credit and insurance. They face far higher rates of inflation. Their shopping bills already take up a high proportion of their income – how would increasing them by between £180 and £250 help?
At the last election, Johnson promised to improve the lives of the least privileged. When he talked about ‘levelling up’, nobody thought he meant adding 87p to the price of a box of Frosties. Successive governments have relentlessly targeted the poor with sin taxes – raising the price of alcohol, tobacco and treats – while also lecturing them on how big their meals should be, and how they should enjoy their lives. This is wrong. Adults do not need nanny to tell them what to do, what to buy or what to eat.
We are a society gripped by moral panics.
And it could well be much worse than we thought.
I’m guessing the average Brit does not want Big Brother Government in their pantry and kitchen. If these politicians want to legislate something why not go for the Mediterranean Diet, which still appears to be the most healthy diet? OK, I’m somewhat biased because it includes a glass of red wine.
And the necessary Pastis before meal 😀
Based on the Brits I’ve known, they do want Big Brother government in their pantry and kitchen. They want it cradle to grave.
if only it was based on what they actually ate….
Henry Dimbleby says we should not eat processed for but advocates artificial meat, isn’t that processed food? Dimbleby also has a highly questionable BMI rating. Also is a major purveyor of salty, fatty and sugary products. Henry Dimbleby is right about one thing – spiked (spiked-online.com) Stop eating meat? Cut meat consumption by 40%. Data tells the truth and numbers do not lie. Total methane emissions from all sources including wetlands and fossil fuels are about 614,000,000 tons/year. Residual atmospheric methane is 0.00018%. 1.4 billion cows emit 86 million tons of methane annually which is 14% of total emissions. Therefore 14% of – residual CH4 – 0.00018% is 0.0000238% that is 2.38 trillionths of atmospheric CH4. Atmospheric methane needs to be at least 100 times more prolific to have even the slightest influence on climate. Insofar as UK cows are concerned which are 0.69% of the global total at 0.0000000229908% of 0.00018%. Methane The Irrelevant GHG. Methane The Irrelevant GHG. (CH4) has narrow absorption bands at 3.3 microns and 7.5 microns (the red lines). CH4 is 20 times more effective an absorber than CO2 – in those bands. However, CH4 is only 0.00018% (1.8 parts per billion) of the atmosphere. Moreover, both of its bands occur at wavelengths where H2O is already absorbing substantially. Hence, any radiation that CH4 might absorb has already been absorbed by H2O. The ratio of the percentages of water to methane is such that the effects of CH4 are completely masked by H2O. The amount of CH4 must increase 100-fold to make it comparable to H2O. Because of that, methane is irrelevant as a greenhouse gas. The high per-molecule absorption cross section of CH4 makes no difference at all in our real atmosphere. Identifying what people should and should not eat related to beliefs about emissions is bonkers.
Cows, like all animals, are carbon neutral, almost by definition. If they didn’t eat the grass, it would rot and emit the exact same gases.
Some animals are less than carbon neutral.
A lot of cattle consume feed grown with nitrogen fertilizers produced from the Haber process using natural gas, and there are other inputs of fossil fuels used at various points in animal husbandry. Perhaps beaver are carbon negative.
To update Animal Farm, all animals are carbon neutral but some animals are more carbon neutral than others.
Yep, or grow longer, dry and burn.
In fact many fires in Northern California grass fields ( where the cows are “ grass fed and finished”) would burn much hotter, and likely spread into tree country and Forrest country, if cows were not there to keep those fires much smaller.
Dim le y ….. 2b or not 2b..
When salt is outlawed, only outlaws will have salt.
(Same for bacon!)
There will come a time when one could be arrested for a salt and bakery.
He is joking now, yet heavy government involvement in food production AND consumption is a likely tragic story.
“ Only the government can create a sand shortage in a desert.” Milton Freeman.
Only the government can create a sand shortage in a desert
Only the government can run a brothel into bankruptcy in Nevada (true story)
Salt is generally replaced by citric acid. Citric acid is produced by fermentation of corn milling waste with Aspergillus niger. The citric acid is loaded with mold allergens; the primary cause for that increase in child asthma they are always on about.
And contrary to the propaganda, most salt is in food to prevent bad bacteria. If the salt is too low it must be replaced by enough acid to prevent bacteria. But again, the citric acid is loaded with mold allergens, so, the war on salt actually makes public health worse!
The Romans used to make salt on the coast in northern Portugal. I am perfectly prepared to do that should any do-gooders decide to take it away from me.
· 1,879,000 UK Dairy cows emit 206,690 tonnes of methane
· 7,731,000 UK Beef cattle emit 386,550 tonnes of methane
· 593,240 tonnes in total
· Fewer cows than Mali, Madagascar, Uzbekistan, New Zealand, Niger, Uruguay and Canada, damn cheek.
· UK global percentage at 1.4 billion is 0.69%
· UK global percentage at 1 billion is 0.96%
· 20% reduction would be 0.77% or 0.56% Insignificant
· Since 1974 UK cow population fallen by 36%, 5.6 million cattle
o Nearly twice as much as Deben’s 20%
· 1.4 billion cows emit 86 million tonnes of methane
· 1 billion cows emit 61.4 million tons of methane
· Atmospheric methane is 0.00018%
· Atmospheric Co2 is 0.04%
· Atmospheric N2O is 0.00003%
· Atmospheric Nitrogen is 78% Dry.
· Atmospheric Oxygen is 21%
· Water vapour – clouds – 4% the strongest greenhouse gas.
· Rice paddies emit between 100 million and 500 million tons of methane
Like all government policy, this will result in more expensive products and no change in what the actual target idea was.
The food processing industry will make sure of that.
“National food strategy”?
No more fish’n’chips???
Do the English eat anything else?
Scotland is not the nation, it is a basket case though.
I hope that some day I can get back to England to sample real fish and chips. Are newspapers still used for serving?
Nope ,plain white grease proof paper,or a polystyrene tray or both.
“Are newspapers still used for serving?”
No, because the inks in ‘newspapers’ are believed to be toxic. As is the way of all things, especially related to ‘government’, the actual risk is minimal, but that will never stop ‘government’.
I would want to be sure which newspaper. Some ARE toxic.
Toxic tales from a toxic Male.
Disputing, when I was about 10 or12 (70 yrs ago), I chewed petroleum tar that I found in globs below the spigots of emptied tank cars along a rail siding. I collected the globs so there would be no competition and, I broke up the globs into about 1″ pieces which I sold to friends and classmates a penny ea.
It was a block buster product that became cool to be chewing with a few enterprepreneurial kids buying 10pcs or more. You chewed it and spit out less palatable flavors until in about 10 minutes you had a good chewing gum.
We also had fun playing with mercury, silvering pennies and other good fun. Our scrapes and cuts were dressed mercurichrome (sp?) and sore throats were gargled with iodine and water.
One day, I found a 3 inch ‘puck’ of lead in the ditch with a piece of broken leather harness attached (milk, bread and ice for the ice box fridge were delivered horse-drawn vans). I melted in in a large jam pail in the furnace and fun all winter pouring it into various shapes, remelting and messing around with it. Yup, I don’t recommend anyone copying this type of curiosity. It is bad for your health. But not as bad as they say it is.!!! Oh, and I must have eaten a half an acre of potatoes, french fried and wrapped in the daily news!
Elemental mercury and lead aren’t that poisonous. I suspect you were more at risk from burns from the molten lead than from poisoning. It’s the compunds that are dangerous.
Sausage and chips, egg and chips,pie and chips, and if your poor, gravy and chips. I take issue with your use of the word chips, chips havent been cooked in the UK properly for decades,
Chips in the UK are anemic, half cooked,or reused chips from the previous day= soggy,limp and burnt round the edges , still American tourists still eat them😋
So thats another industry gone down the pan, still we do have some very good Indian takeaways.
It depends where you you buy them. I have just come back from an excellent cafe serving chips which are the equal of anywhere.
The exception makes the rule, chips are crap in the UK thats official.
In Glasgow many years ago I liked their Haggis and chips.
Try poutine from Canada….
Come to Portugal if you want good chips. Not everywhere, of course, but most restaurants make them from scratch, not frozen, and they are crispy and delicious. It is rare to be served soggy, limp chips here.
Curry – we eat tons of it here in the UK.
Well, if we want to ban junk food, and unnatural diets, lets ban industrially refined seed oils which are unstable at cooking temperatures, and replace them with wholesome natural and stable animal fats. Ban the unnatural vegan and vegetarian diets, and encourage regular wholesome natural meat based meals. I know that is not the agenda, but grazing livestock really does not require a lot of fuel input to plough, plant and harvest.
I wish I could give this comment more “likes”.
we know from the study of regeneratively farmed beef the whole process of raising cattle on grass moved around paddocks to minimise time in the one spot increases carbon in the soil (study done at White Oak Pastures).
These methods in the short term do no cause production loss from fields and in the longer term increase herd sizes for the same sized property overall.
Who do these self-appointed ‘experts’ think they are to believe they know better what to eat than my own parents who lived and live well into their 90s?
Why don’t they stay home and do something useful?
It’s a class thing. Recently the middle and upper middle classes discovered football – another front opened up for ‘diversity’ and identity politics
The Euros were a case in point:
Behind the headline displays of unity, these elitists fear and loathe normal fans, with their naughty songs and beery antics. They look upon the crowds congregating to celebrate the Euros, not just as Covid super-spreaders, but as the carriers of every viral political and cultural prejudice. – Spiked Online
The failure on penalties didn’t help, 2 scored and three missed. It’s the first time I have seen someone miss a penalty and then been lauded as a hero.
Oh boy, from the way they were talking Brexit was going to be the economic ruination of England. What a bunch of whiners and weasels.
You think they want you to live that long? Perhaps government recommended diets are meant to induce dependence on pharmaceuticals.
I will be happy if they just stop trying to tell me what to eat and not eat!
Is there anything more infuriatingly stupid than the “Eat This, Not That” books and website?
Decades ago when the “good for you, bad for you” mania first started (yeah.I’m that old) I adopted my first life motto (I now have three): “I’d rather enjoy a short life than be miserable in a long one.” Guess what, I’ve enjoyed eight decades, so you don’t have to make that choice. I’ve personally (not “scientifically”) concluded that enjoying life is the KEY to a long life, not what you eat or don’t eat.
BTW, “enjoying life” for me means just that, not enjoying artificial “feel good” things like drugs and alcohol.
in the studies done by Keys and various other groups like the 7th Day Adventists. Despite large adjustments to the data and false narratives (like the Okinawans and Icarian people ate mostly plants, the former ate lots and lots of pork and the later had so much animal foods including dairy with most meals that plants foods could be nothing more ever than a side dish). The one thing we do find fairly consistent is that community is important. Social gatherings, walking, not keeping to strict schedules etc.
Low stress, low impact exercise and lots of socialising.
Some years ago the BBC reported on a solicitors clerk who walked 3 miles up and down hill from his office to the court twice a day. The young woman could now keep up with him. He at the time was 93 and his diet consisted of a bowl of porridge in the morning a sandwich for lunch and another bowl of porridge at night. I can eat all of the right stuff and all of the supposedly wrong stuff but every time I have a blood test it comes back normal. Five a day is not supported by any research or science it was cherry picked from marketing generated by the Californian food growers association. Most of everyones ailments are genetic not environment, unless of course you worked with blue asbestos smoke 60 fags a day and drown you sorrows with booze.
Widely derided Ancel Keys if you read all of his research arrived at the conclusion that those who had access to dairy and meat on average lived longer than those who did not. Life is a lottery but you dont get to choose the pack of cards you are dealt.
I don’t know what England’s agriculture policies are, but in the good old USA we could probably cut way down on obesity by not subsidizing corn, because a lot of it ends up feeding the hogs, in ethanol and in HFCS.
It’s not the corn! Corn has a higher protein content than most other grains! It’s the sugar and simple carbs that do the most damage!
Who told you that pork was fattening?
they would just feed the ‘hogs’ soy meal from Brazil then( after of course they take everything humans want from the soy). Pigs, even in a traditionally raised sense, are fed waste material and turn it into nutritious meat and fat (and organs) for us humans.
Yes, stopping subsidising plant crops like that is a good idea but also realise they would just change the source of food for the animals not remove pig farms for example.
These experts don’t takem account of the stubbornness of their target audience. Recently, a celebrity chef’s initiative to introduce healthy food into UK schools resulted in parents queueing at school boundary fencing, passing junk food to their kids.
No end of proposals to make certain no person can be responsible for themselves, but everyone is responsible in some vague manner for everyone else. Certain people are are to be made legally responsible for everyone else in some limited way. It’s a prescription for unstable, unreliable, miserable societies.
Land in the UK has been managed by humans for hundreds of years. The British countryside is in essence artificial. “Returning it to nature” is a ridiculous idea. The Conservative party hasn’t been conservative for 20 years and certainly not with regard to the environment. They are very happy to increase the population as fast as possible and concrete over vast swathes of land.
A better idea would be reforestation if you want to make parts what they were thousands of years ago. Plant native species and manage the woodland and you can get a crop after a few decades too.
How about someone in the UK trying this?
regeneratively farmed land increases returns after only a short period of time (say a couple of years).
The “obesity” crisis started when low fat diet was the way to go, low fat made food insipid and so sugar was used to enhance flavour. I remember when I had a Ski yoghurt for the first time in the late 1960’s, it tasted so bitter, certainly not as sweet as those you can buy nowadays. I had sugar in tea and coffee, from which I went cold turkey in the mid 70’s.
The “obesity” crisis started when low fat diet was the way to go
Funny how that worked out. And yet it’s still pushed as the way to go.
As some of us said a year ago, COVID was just a dry run for the total control of your life in the name of “public health”. Anything that can’t plausibly be regulated in the name of “climate change” will be regulated in the name of “public health”.
The goal is total government control of every thought, word, and deed.
Resistance is futile.
Wheat,Barley,Hops, Yeast, sugar. I can do that 😉
Government is hopelessly wrong on their food guidelines and any attempt from the government to control what people eat should be vigorously fought. I am no fan of people eating sugar but there’s no way I’d support a sugar tax because it’s none of my business what other people eat.
I think everyone should make their own choices and also bear the full responsibility of the consequences of those choices. Want to eat crap – fine. But I’m not paying your doctor bills.
Our crisis today is a lack of personal responsibility. We’ve got a nanny state that doesn’t hold people accountable and it will be the end of us.
I’ve put in years of study on what we eat… in my estimation most people are hopelessly mixed up from government and “expert” misinformation. We can mostly agree that sugar is bad but people don’t seem to realize that the fructose found in fruit is the exact same thing as fructose in HFCS. Grains are bad but enjoy the experts’ stamp of approval. Vegetable oils should probably be banned as they are the number one cause of chronic health issues like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Salt’s bad reputation is entirely underserved. Dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are benign at worst. Red meat is probably the best thing you can eat. This is why I don’t want government deciding what to tax – they’ve got it completely wrong on a lot of things.
So true. But this is the natural extension of government taking care of us—free healthcare leads to controlling how you eat in the name of reducing cost. Climate control leads to forcing you out of cars. Education control means putting you in a silo in terms of what job you can have. And then they still get their diktats all wrong, like the whole cholesterol scare. Oops! There never has been a free lunch, you pay for it with loss of freedom.
The attack on meat mystifies me—the methane stuff is just a cover, so why is meat really under attack?
High quality protein is necessary for higher brain function; it probably has substantial effects on the endocrine system as well!
Theory and anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that cultures that consume a high protein diet are more fierce and independent; like the Comanche, Cheyenne and other Plains Indians of North America; with a diet high in buffalo and other game. I wonder if the same would be true of the Mongols and Zulus?
The Mongols worked out for awhile that if their children grew up in china eating the trashy high carb diet they would turn out weak and useless warriors like the chinese so that practiced sending their kids back to the steppe to grow up and then return as real warriors.
The chinese even wrote of the massive difference between the two armies whenever they clashed. The lack of baggage train the mongols needed. They needed little to no fire nor did they often stop for meals.
Exactly the type of government overreach that caused the obesity and diabetes epidemic we currently face. When the belief that saturated fats were the cause of cardiovascular disease was promoted and adopted based on unscientific published research it launched decades of misinformation that covered for the highly profitable processed food industry as they replace saturated fats with trans fats and carbohydrates. Now we have a huge mess to clean up.
And any dietary advice that puts imaginary eco-harm ahead of human health is bound to go off the rails and people will suffer. As far as reducing our impact on the natural environment – we are already there using technology and industrial agriculture to grow more food than we need on less and less land and waters.
The religious belief that salt must be reduced in diets (true for only some people with specific health conditions) is certain to do harm as we already have evidence from well designed studies that salt restriction increase mortality in some chronic illnesses while doing little for most other people. We need to face the fact that, just like climate change, the world is awash in beliefs that are not based on evidence and which, if acted upon will do nothing but harm to people and the environment. Our governments and the bureaucracies they support are completely unqualified to sort truth from fiction.
Only a free competitive market, sound science and the unrestricted flow of information and debate can save us from ourselves.
The majority of people are not aware that salt is an essential nutrient and humans require approximately 1.5 teaspoons of salt daily. Plus it makes food taste a whole lot better.Before refrigeration for food storage was ubiquitous, we used salt to preserve meat and fish. Today, because this is generally no longer necessary, average salt consumption has dropped significantly. My grandparents and great grandparents ate lots of salted meat and lived long happy lives so how bad could it be?
When my mother was in a care home I used to go for lunches there sometimes. The average age of the residents was in the high 80s if not 90s. They uniformly piled the salt onto their meals.
Go figure, as the Americans say.
Salt adds flavor and enjoyment to our food. Everyone of every age should be able to derive pleasure from their meals.
There are many scientific studies that show much of the supposed dietary problems are more likely due to genetics than diet.
My community of 10’s of thousands was part of a major study of diet and mortality conducted over decades. It was actually a data gathering exercise for use in examining both then posited as well as yet to be thought of correlations.
The participants were informed of various study results. One result was NO statistically significant correlation between heart disease and dietary cholesterol.
That is because most dietary cholesterol is not uptaken by the gut in digestion. Most of the blood lipids that cause problems are produced by the liver. That’s how cholesterol lowering statins work. They reduce liver lipid formation,
It’s true that dietary cholesterol is mostly not absorbed by body but it’s untrue that LDL is the cause of heart disease. There is no correlation between LDL levels and heart attacks and many population studies show that people with higher cholesterol live longer than those with lower cholesterol.
Taking a statin is one of the most ignorant things a person can do. Statins may have a slight effect on heart attacks (by keeping arteries more flexible via nitric oxide and not a reduction in cholesterol) but that’s more than offset by their side effects.
My own blood lipid levels correlate exactly (but not linearly) with my weight. I’ve told my doctor it doesn’t matter what I eat, just what weight I stay under.The lipids are obviously produced by my body.
I know enough about how substances move through membranes to realize that most fats must be reduced to simpler molecules by the digestive system in order to be absorbed in the blood.
fat is not absorbed by the blood, it travels by the lymphatic system to be finally transported by chylomicrons in the blood (these are massive compared to even VLDL particles) first via the heart and then onto the liver through the blood.
statins work by lowering inflammation. They also lower CoQ10 which is in the process of manufacturing cholesterol for which the liver encapsulate in lipid rafts (what is actually measured in a rough way) along with triglycerides.
Essentially there is little statistical difference between statins and aspirin from what I understand, both reduce inflammation with the later increasing certain strokes markedly and the former increasing all manner or other ailments such as diabetes, parkinsons, ALS, alzheimers, motor neurone disease. MS etc. But both don’t make a meaningful difference on all cause mortality than doing diddly squat over an average of years save maybe living a day or two longer. Do this other conditions provide a day or two of benefit?
I came to that same conclusion after learning that the evidence against dietary cholesterol is flimsy at best. this is just another faux fear to get people taking Statin drugs, which do have some very serious side effects. Another expensive drug which has no benefit to the people taking it. But that doesn’t stop the US Government from requiring contract employees to fall in the “safe” range for cholesterol at their annual checkups.
they can just play around with the ‘feldman protocol’. It is a way of gaming the lipid readings in a short period of time to get it to read lower than it normally would.
In the US, regulating citizens’ health was not one of the enumerated powers in our Constitution.
(But of course, neither was regulating elementary school education.)
History suggests the pendulum does not swing back in the instance of “nanny states”, but I can hope.
Nope, the pendulum doesn’t swing back, George. It eventually stops swinging altogether and drops through the floor.
I can think of no civilization ever whose government has taxed and regulated their country into a prosperous utopia.
The parasitic bureaucracy that administers the details of those nanny states always, always, screws up and eventually kills the host.
George, they’ve taken “promote the General Welfare” to mean pretty much anything they want it to mean if it’s done “for your own good”
A healthy and well nourished society WILL have obese people. It’s a “bell curve” thing. When the majority of people are at or above “optimal” nutritional levels there will be many significantly above optimum.
You can solve the “problem” in the usual communist manner.By foercing everyone into substandard levels of nutrition you reduce obesity.
None of the studies about “obesity deaths” seem to consider that the alternative is likely deaths due to malnutrition.
I believe the near starvation diet of Allied POWs held by the Japanese helped inspire the Pritikin Diet! After nearly starving in captivity, the prisoners were found to have very low rates of heart disease and diabetes!
The truth is that a good diet includes lots of healthy fats and proteins; not so much processed sugars and starches. Perhaps the government could come out with some exercise guidelines as well. I recommend the following:
1) Sex; one of the best cardiovascular exercises, married couples enjoy it more and more often than single people, so promote marriage.
2) Dancing; another good cardio exercise that can often lead to sex when done well!
3) Walking; brisk walking is low impact and can be good cardio; especially when done hand in hand with a your partner heading for the dance floor or the bedroom!
4) Weight training; tones and firms leading to better outcomes for all of the above! Nuff said!
And how many POWs died of starvation? I don’t thing that counts as a “healthy” diet. And exercise contributes to health more than diet does.
Didn’t POWs in Hongkong eat a lot of rats they caught?
to this day people in hong kong still enjoy eating lots of red meat being one of the biggest consumers of red meat in the world and one of the highest average age of mortality.
I strongly suggest the Brits immediately protest the Government bureaucrats involvement in What and how they eat.
Should the Government persist and implement dietary restrictions on the population, then it would seem only fair to insist that all incumbent politicians/bureaucrats meet a certain body mass index or step down from office. Additionally no individuals can run for office or accept appointment to government offices that do not meet BMI requirements.
That should sour the mood of fat cat bureaucrats trying to control your life.
‘no individuals can run for office’
…no individuals can waddle for office…
There you are, fixed it for you!
Don’t forget the protectionist chlorine chicken lobbyist routine while resisting mad cow warnings.
Meal worms in every pot.
“what proportion of our diet should come from each food group, would be based not only on the healthiness of certain foods, (…. )but their environmental sustainability too.”
Question for avoiding ‘the booby prize’ using pure logic only (the poker player’s tell): Which aspect will be prioritized, “healthiness of certain foods” or “their “environmental sustainability”. The author even answers this question further on below this quote. I’ll give a poker tell analysis if someone takes the challenge!
Which aspect will be prioritized
Whichever group’s lobbyists pay the most?
TonyG, first, the answer to this question in the strategy:
“strategy sets a goal of reducing meat consumption by 30% over ten years, ”
This cut is because of environmental-sustainability, regardless of the health aspects which they don’t reference. In my initial quote, the phrase “on the healthiness of certain foods” sets up the second one. The issue they are dancing around as number one is enviro! Healthfulness was the first criterion only because that is the selling point. Logically healthy and sustainability are not necessarily compatible.
Given the past record of government when it comes to health (dietary guidelines, etc.), I’m pretty sure “health” isn’t anywhere near the top of their list.
Look at old photos of people from the 1940s through at least the 1970s. Obesity was practically non-existent. I just scanned through my 1972 high school yearbook. In my graduating class of 1,100, there were many body types but NOT ONE obese person. What has changed? Well, for one thing, most nuclear families were intact, divorce rare, and children were fed by moms, most stay-at-home homemakers. Meals were planned and prepared out of wholesome ingredients. Junk foods, fast food restaurants and take-out were generally rare “treats” rather than dietary staples.
The feminist movement changed all that, with most people, especially the poor, now growing up with one parent and almost EVERYONE having to be employed just to make ends meet. Government then began massive food handouts to try and compensate. Nutritionists began to jerk us around with dire warnings about milk, eggs, butter, etc. (not noting of course that one of the big killers or contributing factors to heart and lung disease was rampant smoking) Then came demand for fast cheap snacks and foods, so enter the highly advertised processed and fast food industries, offering every imaginable product, highly processed and loaded with additives, salt, sugar and preservatives. I would guess that there are about 100 restaurants and eateries today for every one in the 1960s-70s. People spend $25,000 for a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops so that they have a place to set down their bags of carry-out food.
So now the gub mint wants to be the mom that most people are missing. But they can’t help themselves. They are obliged to pay homage to the causes of the day, climate, greenhouse gases, sustainism, diversity, global governance, etc. What can one do? Live wisely, eat healthy, fight the good fight, and hope it doesn’t all slowly disintegrate into anarchy or totalitarianism.
Mom was concerned about the individuals, Take care of the individual and when troubled find out the source of the trouble.
Gub mint is concerned about the Collective. Collective concerns are generalized by necessity and decided upon by committee. Committees focus on symptoms over causes due to central committee bureaucratic demand for immediate public explanations.
Results are unintended consequences with symptomatic solutions because root cause goes untreated. Gub mint leaders take temporary victory lap before looking for scapegoats to blame once unintended consequences manifest. Failed symptomatic solutions are etched in legalized granite ergo rinse and repeat. More symptomatic solutions, more unintended consequences
It bears repeating:
“God made an idiot for practice and then He created the Committee.” – Mark Twain
“Mom knows best.” Anonymous
Committees focus on symptoms over causes because there’s no money to be made if people were actually healthy.
I remember in Winnipeg the first hamburger and chips I tasted over 70yrs ago. We kids had already been sent to bed, when my older sister came in and told my parents about “The Casbah” a fish chip and hamburger joint that had opened. She went out and returned with hamburgers and chips. Kids awaken, smell the lovely odours, and make a fuss. We each got ¼ of a hamburger an a little pile of chips – heaven!
Eat your bugs and save the planet. It’s the law.
These burgers obviously ‘identify’ as veggie burgers,
How dare you suggest they are not real veggie burgers! Dead-naming is a hate crime.
Love it! That is a veggie burger I would eat.
Central planning by a businessman who hopes to be granted a tax subsidized, exclusive government license to operate the scheme. How original. I wonder why Britain has not tried this before. [yes /sarc and in some places /treason]
The basis of the diet will be soylent green.
This is very Orwellian; who thinks this way?
Low salt, low fat, and lots of lectins in the pulses and lentils etc.
Trying their hardest to make people retarded and get dementia, while recommending the carbs causing the obesity, and fattening the treasury.
their personal treasury yes. the more they mandate ‘healthy foods’ the thinner their health budgets spread.
This will never work.
Did you see it? – The real reason for the food strategy? Here it is: “world’s first sugar and salt reformulation tax, aimed at forcing manufacturers to make the foods they sell healthier – by reformulating recipes to remove sugar and salt – and raising around £3 billion for the Treasury in the process” Tax, Tax, Tax. Control, Control, Control. Anything that is not free market is surely doomed to fail.
It is clear that there is a public health problem of obesity in the UK. It is clear that diet must be a large factor in it. Lack of physical activity is probably another substantial factor.
However, taxing sugar and salt while leaving everything else the same is not going to do much of anything. Similarly, promoting bikes while leaving the road system unchanged is not going to do anything.
There are two things at work. One is that the local environment has become one in which walking and cycling to wherever one is going is mostly neither safe nor pleasant. And where many of one’s destinations are simply not reachable except by car, being in malls or distant supermarkets.
The other thing is that both food and eating habits have changed.
As to the eating habits. Talk to anyone who grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in the UK in a middle class household. You will find that children ate at mealtimes, and what they were given. There was little or no snacking, certainly there was no practice of kids going to a stocked fridge and helping themselves whenever they felt like it. If you probe a little, you will find that they regularly were hungry – but it was thought of differently, it was having a healthy appetite. And you will often hear that they were not allowed to eat before meal times because it would ‘spoil your dinner’.
In addition, food was completely different. Fridges were not universal and were small. Houses generally had ‘larders’, small rooms, often with a marble or stone topped cupboard, open to the outside, in which food could be kept relatively cool – but well above modern fridge temperatures. There were apparently earthenware milk coolers in quite common use – these were unglazed covers with a small water reservoir in the top, which cooled through evaporation to keep the milk from spoiling. Milk was usually delivered daily.
In this environment people shopped frequently – they had to, because food could not be kept. What they bought was also very different. There were no factory made dishes, there could not be because of the lack of a cold chain, so they bought raw ingredients. This was the era of separate shops, greengrocers, grocers, butchers, bakers, all of which would be in walking distance. There were no giant bottles of coke or soft drinks and no snacks. There were actual specialist sweet shop, selling candy and chocolate, which you had to go to. In the immediate post war years sweets were rationed to one quarter pound per person per week.
As car ownership and use rose, and supermarkets arrived at scale, and fridge ownership became universal, the small shops vanished, the roads became too trafficked for walking and cycling, children stopped playing outside, and we arrived at the era of the once a week shop. The supermarkets now increasingly stocked factory made dishes and meals, and these became products developed by teams to trigger appetites. Manufactured snacks also appeared in bulk. Mothers were now shopping with children, and indulging their demands for snacks, soft drinks etc.
If a government really wants to increase cycling, it will have to change the road environment to make the roads and streets safe and pleasant for it. If it really wants to change diet, it will have to change the whole system. Keeping the present way of shopping, cooking and eating just as it is while taxing salt and sugar will simply result in similar over-eating of the reformulated foods, similar levels of obesity, and similar levels of inactivity.
The food industry’s product development teams are experts in formulating the kind of food that will lead people to overeat. The town planners have become expert at designing and permitting road environments which encourage inactivity. We do have an obesity problem, crisis even. But this proposal is not going to address it. What would solve it?
Walk or bike to work and to destinations. Meat and two vegetable style cooking and eating. But no-one wants to try to produce that, and if they did, they have no idea how to do it. So they concentrate on empty gestures such as this one. And claim that what they propose will, of all things, lower CO2 emissions!
Which is completely beside the point. If improving diet and activity would lead to increased CO2 emissions, we should jump at it. The issue is not emissions, its health. But its not how much sugar there is in manufactured meals. Its how we are living and the environment we are living in.
reduce meat by 30% more? when consumptions already dropped heaps?
minister for hunger will be busy indeed
what a farce and another set of govvy shinybums making tidy wages while ruining general populations lives” for their own good” of course
If they want people to lose weight they need to recommend low-carb diets – more meat!
The fact this is a complete fraud is proved by the following: “These include the world’s first sugar and salt reformulation tax, aimed at forcing manufacturers to make the foods they sell healthier – by reformulating recipes to remove sugar and salt – and raising around £3 billion for the Treasury in the process.”
If manufacturers change their recipes, zero taxes are collect. If billions are collected, then there’s been no change in diet. Either way food prices up, leaving the poor with less and British companies with less net exports due to higher prices or less demand. Time and again politicians sell policies using mutually exclusive best case options while ignoring the certain consequences.
You had me at bangers and eggs with fried tomato and beans … only thing better is the same with bacon and steak.
Woke banks come for your dinner plate-
Live exporter slams banks for hypocrisy over lending practices (msn.com)
For a few billion dollars in admin costs, DC and NIH will develop a new food pyramid for you. That does not include the PSA marketing costs of course and talk show ad buys.