Why Not Try ‘Meat Free Monday’?

Why not try ‘Meat Free Monday’?

The Willingham Sustainability Group aim to provide the residents of Willingham with information on a range of sustainability topics. Last month we touched on plastic, recycling and our exciting plastic pledge (if you haven’t signed up yet there is still time… more information on the WillinghamLife.org website). This month we are tackling food and the impact of our diets on the environment and climate change.

You may already be aware that agriculture and forestry have an impact on the environment. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, 23% of total anthropogenic (human-generated) greenhouse gas emissions (2007-2016) derive from Agriculture, Forestry and other land uses[1]. Livestock farming also requires a lot of land for both animals and feed production and has resulted in deforestation of many woodlands and rainforests. Today, 37% of all available land surface in the world is used for pasture[2].

Cattle farming is particularly intensive and is responsible for 62% of the sectors greenhouse gas emissions[1].

There are also additional carbon emissions for transporting meat around the globe.

Climate change is the not the only concern with livestock farming, animal welfare is also a cause for concern. The UK has high standards for animal welfare but not all countries have the same standards and you may not always know this when you buy meat imported from other countries.

Whilst the above is all true, it is also true that eating meat is an important part of many people’s diet, provides many nutrients for our bodies and provides a livelihood for many people. And therefore the aim of this article is provide you information to help you make more informed and sustainable choices. Here are a couple of ideas!

Why not try Meat Free Monday? This campaign made famous by Paul McCartney doesn’t ask you to give up meat but rather to look to reduce your meat consumption and, in doing so, play a small part in reducing climate change. By having one meat free day a week will help contribute to reducing climate change and will also give you an opportunity to try new and exciting recipes.

Why not buy local? We have some great local butchers in and around Willingham. Highgate Butchers has a great selection of meat and even has extra treats such as pies and quiches. Buying local also has the benefit of supporting local businesses and reducing food air miles. By reducing our meat consumption, it may mean we can afford to buy locally or even organic.

If you struggle for inspiration there is a lot of help out there! The BBC Good Food website has hundreds of tasty vegetarian recipes. If cookbooks are more your thing, both Jamie Oliver and Joe Wicks do a vegetarian recipe book which come highly recommended!

[1] http://www.fao.org/gleam/results/en/

[1] https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/4/2020/07/03_Technical-Summary-TS_V2.pdf

[2] https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/4/2020/07/03_Technical-Summary-TS_V2.pdf

Wacky ideas..

Did you know that there are companies out there that are looking to produce meat in the lab? Using stem cells to grow meat in the lab reduces environmental impact and removes animal welfare issues completely. It won’t be long before we’ll know what it tastes like!