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Does NZ produced red meat have a role in a healthy, sustainable diet?

This challenging question was recently put to a panel made up of scientists and food industry experts.

In front of a crowd of foodwriters, nutritionists, dietitians and other interested parties, the panel covered a range of topics addressing whether we can meet the nutritional needs of exponential population growth, whilst working within the sustainable limits of planetary health.

The discussion was facilitated by NZ Herald journalist and editor-at-large of the Healthy Food Guide, Niki Bezzant who was joined by:

• Dr Denise Conroy, Senior Scientist at Plant & Food Research who unpackaged the complexities of what looked to be a simple question.
• Dr Mike Boland, Principle Scientist at the Riddet Institute who shared the many nutritional reasons to keep red meat on our plates.
• Dr Mark Craig, a Auckland-based GP who advocates a whole food, plant-based diet for health.
• Jeremy Baker, Chief Insights Officer for Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd who spoke about the significant work being done through Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s environmental strategy.
• Angela Clifford, CEO of Eat New Zealand who spoke passionately about her family’s farming background and the rise of regenerative agriculture.

This podcast takes about 1.5 hours but is a very informative, balanced discussion that covers some really important issues regarding our food supply and quality of life in NZ such as:

  • Animal welfare and environmental issues e.g land use, water use and quality, global warming, methane gases, NZ economy etc were all touched on
  • What measures are NZ farmers taking to diversify their businesses in order to make the best use of their land and improve productivity?
  • Sustainability – How can we feed a global population expected to be close to 9.8 billion by 2050? Are we better to convert all our beef and lamb farmland into growing crops?
  • What are the nutritional benefits of including red meat in our diet and from a digestibility and bioavailability point of view can these same nutrients be found in a plant-based diet?
  • What is a whole food,plant-based diet and does it mean we all have to become vegan or vegetarian in order to achieve better health and a healthier planet?

A summary of the podcast fact’s provided by NZ Beef and Lamb have been printed by the Nutrition Foundation who we also thank for our graphics today.

If you would like to have your diet assessed and discuss the pros and cons of eating a more whole food plant-based diet then contact me today

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