UK meat consumption falls by 17 per cent in a decade

8 October 2021, 07:58

Researchers found UK meat consumption has fallen by 17% in a decade.
Researchers found UK meat consumption has fallen by 17% in a decade. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Daily meat consumption in the UK has fallen by almost a fifth in the last decade, new research has found.

Researchers found that daily meat intake per person dropped by 17%.

The biggest drop was in the consumption of red meat, while the amount of white meat Britons are eating increased slightly.

The UK also saw a drop in the amount of processed meat eaten by Britons compared to a decade ago.

The study for The Lancet Planetary Health assessed changes in the amount of red, white and processed meat eaten in the UK from 2008-9 to 2018-19.

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The authors of the research warned that although the UK's meat intake has decreased, it is still below the 30% drop they say is necessary to reduce methane emissions from cattle and sheep.

The amount of meat consumed per person per day fell from 103.7g to 86.3g over the last decade.

Experts from Oxford University, who lead the research, said although meat-free diets have the biggest impact, Britons do not have to become vegetarian or vegan.

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They said reducing meat intake by 30% is the equivalent of having two meat-free days per week.

It is hoped a drop in meat consumption will free up land for absorbing carbon and boosting nature, as well as reducing the amount of methane emissions, which contribute to global warming.