MPs: Eat less meat or face food shortages

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The Vegan Society welcomes DFID's report on Global Food Security

The Vegan Society warmly welcomed DFID Report on Global Food Security launched in London today by Sir Malcolm Bruce, chair of the International Development Committee.

The Vegan Society is delighted to see that its written evidence to the committee has had such a positive impact on the report alongside that of expert witnesses such a Professor Tim Lang Professor of Food Policy at City University in the Centre for Food Policy. 

Chair of the International Development Committee Sir Malcolm Bruce warned: "With the UK never more than a few days away from a significant food shortage, UK consumers should also be encouraged over time to reduce how often they eat meat." Sir Malcolm Bruce also highlights that feeding grain to farmed animals threatens global sustainability.

In its recommendations to the committee on Global Food Security The Vegan Society noted: "Around one billion humans contribute to food waste by eating excess calories. More is lost as biofuels. We need to focus on continuing and expanding the existing sustainable production of plant-based food. We need to reduce losses in the food supply chain. We need to ensure that sufficient, culturally appropriate plant-based food reaches the plates of those who need it most. We need to encourage and support everyone to choose nutritious, varied diets, based on eating plant crops first-hand. Moving to plant-based diets (including for protein) has great potential for climate change reduction and mitigation."

"Crazy use of resources"

Professor Tim Lang discussed the "crazy use of resources" in "…this assumption that 50% of grain or 40% of grain to the world must be diverted down the throats of animals to then give us meat" in his evidence to the committee. "Without a shadow of a doubt, the ubiquity and cheapness of meat and meat products, as a goal for progress for Western agriculture, let alone developing world agriculture, is one we have to seriously question now for reasons of climate change, emissions, ecosystems and local reasons", he said.

Vegan Society CEO Jasmijn de Boo warmly welcomed the committee's recommendations as a step in the right direction but felt that it did not go far enough: "DFID should focus on supporting people in vulnerable situations to secure their own food supply. This can be achieved through protected access to fertile land for farmers and communities in the Majority World, and supporting their training in plant-based agriculture, nutrition and food preparation. We can fix the global food system and make great strides toward ending hunger by embracing plant-based farming and food at every stage."

Members of the public seeking to reduce meat and animal products in their diet can find information and on our website or by calling The Vegan Society on 0845 4588244 (UK local rate).

For more press information please contact Sam Calvert, Media & PR Manager at The Vegan Society media[at]vegansociety[dot]com / 01782 505430 / 07967 042050.

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On Wednesday 5 June, World Environment Day, The Vegan Society is sponsoring a panel discussion at Cheltenham Science Festival discussing the "Meat and Potatoes or Two Veg?" that will consider the effects of animal production on carbon emissions and climate change. Are we are taking this issue seriously enough? Do we need to change the amount of meat and dairy we consume? The panellists are Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University and former land use commissioner on the Sustainable Development Commission; Dr Tara Garnett of the Food Climate Research Network; and, Dr Richard Twine, a sociology research fellow at the University of Glasgow working in the area of climate change. Tickets and more information from 0844 880 8094 or visit: Cheltenham Science Festival.

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