Brits are eating far less meat than they were 10 years ago but there’s still a way to go

By Kate Plummer
A member of staff restocks packs of chilled chicken cuts in refrigerated meat display at a Sainsbury's supermarket store in Walthamstow (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Meat consumption in the UK has fallen by almost a fifth in the last decade, but more has to be done to protect the environment.

According to a new study, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, average daily meat consumption per capita dropped from 103.7g to 86.3g – a decrease of about 17 per cent in ten years.

Red meat consumption fell by 13.7g, while processed meat consumption dropped by 7g. However, Brits are eating 3.2g more white meat per day than a decade ago.

Researchers used data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey to assess changes in the consumption of red, white, and processed meat within the UK from 2008–09 to 2018–19.

Despite the decrease, the study said more has to be done to meet environmental targets outlined in Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy report.

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

The report warns meat consumption needs to be cut by 30 per cent by 2030 to reduce methane emissions from cattle and sheep that help drive global warming, and to free up land for absorbing carbon and boosting nature.

Oxford University’s Cristina Stewart, the lead researcher behind the study, told the BBC: “We now know we need a more substantial reduction.

“You don’t have to be vegetarian. Although, in general, meat-free dishes will have a lower impact.

“But if you’re someone that eats meat every day, reducing your meat consumption by 30 per cent just looks like having two meat-free days per week.”

If that’s not a reason to start following Meat Free Monday, we don’t know what is.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.