Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Meat, eggs and alternatives

Meat, eggs and new alternatives such as soy-meat, Quorn, or lab-grown meat are foods that are often rich in protein and essential micronutrients. However they may also be high in saturated fat and, when processed, in salt. Consumption of meat is very high in most high income countries and is on the rise in middle income countries. While an overly high consumption is associated with ill-health and disease, in countries where people’s diets are lacking in diversity and essential micronutrients – as is the case in many low income countries – animal products can play an important nutritional role. Meat products are also associated with very high GHG emissions; farmed animals contribute some 14.5% of human-made GHG emissions. Animal production also contributes to many other negative environmental impacts including deforestation and associated biodiversity loss, land degradation and soil and water pollution. The production of animals for slaughter and use also raises a complex set of ethical and welfare issues.

13 May 2019

This free e-book, by Ahmed Khan of CellAgri, gives an overview of the field of cellular agriculture, including the basics of the concept, key terms, challenges in scaling up the technology, cellular agriculture products and regulatory aspects.

8 May 2019

This book by Terence J. Centner explores issues of policy, regulation and marketing with respect to the production of food from animals.

Image: phouavang82, Bacon fry food, Pixabay, Pixabay Licence
29 April 2019

This paper reviews data from the UK Biobank study and finds that higher consumption of red meat and alcohol are associated with a higher risk of colorectal (bowel) cancer, while higher consumption of fibre from bread or breakfast cereals is associated with a lower risk.

Image: Shpernik088, Vegan burger, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International
24 April 2019

The European parliament’s agriculture committee has approved a ban on using words such as ‘burger’, ‘sausage’, ‘steak’ or ‘escalope’ to name vegetarian food products. The proposal will not become law unless approved by the full parliament, which will not vote on the issue until after May 2019’s elections.

17 April 2019

This podcast from the Table Talk series by events platform Food Matters Live explores what “clean label” means and investigates the rise of plant-based foods.

16 April 2019

14% of Brits are “flexitarians”, i.e. they have a mixed diet that is mainly based on vegetarian foods but they occasionally eat meat, according to this white paper from the UK-based market research firm YouGov. Flexitarianism is more common among young women than other demographic groups and more common in inner London than other geographic regions.

Image: Pxhere, Food produce nut, CC0 Public Domain
16 April 2019

This paper evaluates the impact of diet on risk factors for heart disease. It finds that replacing red meat with “high-quality” plant protein sources (such as legumes, soy or nuts), but not with fish or “low-quality” carbohydrates (such as refined grains and simple sugars), results in improvements in total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Image: Pixnio, Hen poultry bird, Public domain
16 April 2019

This paper traces mass, energy flows and emissions in the beef, poultry and pork supply chains in Germany (including all emissions from the animal production stages, and emissions from energy use at subsequent stages). It outlines the potential of different strategies to reduce consumption-based emissions. It finds that the greatest emissions reductions could come from dietary change, i.e. replacing some meat consumption with consumption of soybeans and nuts, or replacing some meat consumption with offal consumption.

Image: Impossible Foods Media Kit, IF Impossible Burger 08
20 March 2019

FCRN member Alexandra Sexton describes the narratives and counter-narratives that have been used to talk about alternatives such as cultured meat and plant-based meat replacements.

Image: Max Pixel, Agriculture Cows Cow, CC0 Public Domain
20 March 2019

In this paper, FCRN member Nicholas Bowles of the University of Melbourne reviews existing data on the environmental impacts of the livestock sector and considers these impacts in the context of planetary boundaries. The paper reports that efficiency alone is unlikely to be adequate to shrink livestock’s impacts to a sustainable level, and that dietary shifts will also be necessary.

4 March 2019

This report written by the International Livestock Research Institute for the World Economic Forum’s Meat: the Future series explores the role of the livestock sector in developing and emerging economies to 2030 and beyond.

26 February 2019

This report from the UK think-tank Chatham House explores the challenges of scaling up production and consumption of realistic plant-based meat replacements and laboratory-grown meat, both of which are intended to be indistinguishable from meat.

Image: Pxhere, Landscape grass horizon, CC0 Public Domain
26 February 2019

This paper, by John Lynch of the University of Oxford’s LEAP project, finds that carbon footprint studies of beef cattle typically do not report separate values for emissions of different greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide. Instead, studies generally report only an aggregated figure in the form of the 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP100) as CO2-equivalent.

Image: Two Helmets Cooking, Fava beans, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
18 February 2019

This article on the environmental impacts of different types of animal feed (including fishmeal, soy, fava beans, algae and various forage crops) features commentary from FCRN member Sam Smith, who has contributed to the Feed Compass work by Forum for the Future.

Image: Pxhere, farm barn food, CC0 Public Domain
11 February 2019

This life cycle assessment of beef cattle production in the United States calculates greenhouse gas emissions, fossil energy use, blue water consumption and reactive nitrogen loss per kg of carcass weight.

Image: Stian Broch, Barley-otto, EAT-Lancet social media kit
22 January 2019

Last week’s EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems has received mixed coverage and reactions, some of which we outline here.

22 January 2019

The World Economic Forum and Oxford Martin School have released a white paper on alternative proteins, which examines the narratives surrounding such foods, their environmental and health impacts, and the political and regulatory factors impacting their uptake.

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