The government has published its National Food Strategy aiming to combat obesity, rising food costs, and climate change... but is it enough?
The UK government has been criticised for not doing enough after its National Food Strategy was unveiled.
Boris Johnson’s policy outlines how the Conservative party aims to ‘level up’ the UK’s food production and target issues such as obesity, food waste, and sustainable eating.
In 2021, Henry Dimbleby, Co-Founder of restaurant chain Leon, conducted a comprehensive review of the UK food system to aid the government’s food strategy.
Dimbleby’s investigation outlined changes that needed to be made to our food system to meet sustainability goals and avoid future health crises.
These measures included reducing meat intake by 30%, increasing fruit and veg intake by 30%, and fibre intake by 50%.
While Johnson’s strategy attempts to discuss the future of alternative protein production, many organisations have described the policy as a “missed opportunity”.
In addition, Dimbleby himself has criticised the UK’s plan, saying: “it’s not a strategy”.
“We urgently need radical whole system change to our diets”
Instead of investing in sustainable plant-based alternatives, the government aims to increase the seafood sector and ditch beef for “responsibly sourced wild venison”.
Moreover, Vegan and sustainability organisations have criticised the paper for failing to target meat and dairy reduction.
In a statement, The Vegan Society’s Head of Department, Claire Ogley, shared: “The government’s watered-down National Food Strategy for England Policy Paper falls worryingly short of the ambitions set out in the independent review last year and is hard to swallow.
“We urgently need radical whole system change to our diets in order to avert climate catastrophe.”
Ogley added: “The government has ignored recommendations from its own experts to set a target for reducing the consumption of meat and dairy, despite the undeniable links between animal farming and environmental damage.”
Ogley concluded that while the attempts for low-carbon practices and to recognise plant-based proteins were a good step, there still is much more that needs to be done.
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