Ration Meat to Save the Planet?


Puritans of all stripes are now hooking their agendas to concerns about climate change. For example, the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey in Britain, is arguing that meat and dairy products will have to be rationed in the future to save the planet from climate change. As the Guardian reports:

People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.

The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates.

Voluntary efforts will not be enough–the government will have to force people to eat a climate-healthy diet:

Tara Garnett, the report's author, warned that campaigns encouraging people to change their habits voluntarily were doomed to fail and urged the government to use caps on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing to ensure changes were made. "Food is important to us in a great many cultural and symbolic ways, and our food choices are affected by cost, time, habit and other influences," the report says. "Study upon study has shown that awareness-raising campaigns alone are unlikely to work, particularly when it comes to more difficult changes."

Whole Guardian article here. See also my colleague Katherine Mangu-Ward's excellent column on the "Hey Meaty, You're Making Me So Hot!" campaign.