We need to talk about meat

The Lancet editorial from Nov 6th https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0140-6736%2818%2932971-4  has a timely piece on the ecological and health implications of too much meat consumption.  It seems like the debate on the lack of sustainability of meat consumption for our species’ health and our planet’s ecological survival is finally entering the forum of the highly respectable scientific press.  The consumption of red and processed meat has been associated with increased mortality from chronic diseases, and as a result, it has been classified by the World Health Organization as carcinogenic (processed meat) and probably carcinogenic (red meat) to humans  (see News Lancet Oncol 2015; 16: 1599–600).

Taxation for red meat has been put forth as a policy similar to other carcinogens and foods of public health concerns (tobacco and soda tax) to curb consumption.  In a recent article published in PLOS One Nov 6th ([10.1371/journal.pone.0204139] the health-related costs to society attributable to red and processed meat consumption in 2020 amounted to USD 285 billion ! This is a staggering figure of preventable health risk amenable to consumer-driven changes in lifestyle choices and habits.



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