Research & Policy Update 05/10/20 | The Vegan Society

Research & Policy Update 05/10/20

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Recent research and policy publications round-up 5th October 2020


Forest regeneration on European sheep pasture is an economically viable climate change mitigation strategy. Environmental Research Letters 

This paper reports that reforesting areas of land in the UK currently used for sheep grazing could be an economically viable strategy for farmers, using payments for carbon sequestration from people or businesses who want to offset their emissions The paper argues that sheep farming in the UK is not profitable without subsidies, which currently account for over 90% of sheep farm income.


The Lancet Non-Communicable Diseases and Injuries Poverty Commission: Bridging a Gap in Universal Health Coverage for the Poorest Billion:

This report finds that about one billion people…still experience levels of poverty that have long been described as “beneath any reasonable definition of human decency” …The Commission was formed at the end of 2015 in the conviction that non-communicable diseases and injuries (NCDIs) are an important contributor to the death and suffering of this vulnerable population. Aims to rethink global policies, mend a great disparity in health, and broaden the global health agenda in the interest of equity.


Considering Plant-Based Meat Substitutes and Cell-Based Meats: A Public Health and Food Systems Perspective:

This research shows that from an environmental perspective, plant-based substitutes can provide substantial benefits; and cell-based meat could provide benefits as well for most environmental concerns. Summary: "Although promoted for their capacity to avoid or reduce the environmental, animal welfare, and, in some cases, public health problems…little research has critically evaluated the broader potential public health and food systems implications associated with meat alternatives. This review explores key public health, environmental, animal welfare, economic, and policy implications related to the production and consumption of plant-based meat substitutes and cell-based meats. It is unknown whether replacing farmed meats with plant-based substitutes would offer comparable nutritional or chronic disease reduction benefits as replacing meats with whole legumes. Many of the purported environmental and health benefits of cell-based meat are largely speculative. Cell-based meats will require further technological developments to completely remove animal-based inputs. The broader socioeconomic and political implications of replacing farmed meat with meat alternatives merit further research. This review has revealed a number of research gaps… around the development and commercialization of plant-based substitutes and cell-based meats."


Eating Better Ready Meals 2020 Snapshot Survey:

Meat-free options are increasing - 572 out of 2404 (24%) of meals were vegetarian or plant-based – a 33% increase since 2018. Less meat - 1641 out of 2404 (68%) of meals were meat-based – a 10% decrease since 2018. More plant-based options across the board - Most retailers have expanded their plant- based options in the past two years. Several retailers have greatly expanded their plant-based range Aldi, Morrisons and Asda have more than doubled their plant-based and vegetarian ready-meals offer as a proportion of their range..



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