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Taxing Meat

One issue raised at this week’s Barcelona workshop was that we can see a probable need for the introduction of systemic solutions to reduce meat consumption. Not only does meat require more resources (land, water, animal feed) than any other food, but there are also multiple healthy alternatives to daily meat consumption. Added to this, as more economies develop and rise up the protein ladder, it is clear that having 5bn, let alone 9bn, people migrate to a meat based diet is unsustainable. As such why not introduce a meat tax to make it a premium food and so decrease consumption?

This topic is gaining increasing air time. Take for example, this aticle  in today’s NY Daily Times. In amongst other points, it highlights that:

“Industrial meat production wastes food – we feed the animals vast quantities of grains and soybeans, and they burn up most of the nutritional value of these crops just living and breathing and developing bones and other unpalatable body parts. We get back only a fraction of the food value we put into them.That puts unnecessary pressure on our croplands and causes food prices to rise all over the world. Converting corn to biofuel has been criticized because it raises food prices for the world’s poor, but seven times as much grain gets fed to animals as is made into biofuel.”

As imbalanced population growth and food supply challenges collide, many now see a turning point in Western diets and a barrier in th evolution of Asian diets to be a necessity – a global brake on the protein accelerator!

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