The problem with beef

For the past 5 years I've been working to develop products using the native-breed beef that I rear on my farm. This has involved eating a LOT of beef, which always seemed like a perk of the job. Over the last year however I've come to realise that I eat far too much meat. In fact I probably eat it with every meal (except breakfast… breakfast is for Weetabix) and having spoke to other people on the subject, it seems that isn't uncommon.

On the farm my interest is in rearing cows sustainably so it only seems right that I should try harder to eat beef sustainably. The food chain is responsible for 18-20% of all greenhouse gas emissions and of that it is suspected that 50% comes from meat consumption. That figure is widely debated among experts but it is accepted that rearing cows is tough on the environment. Red meat is also on the hit list for the healthy eaters - we're told that a balanced diet should include no more than 50g red meat a day with an upper limit of 75g and certainly no more that 500g per week.

All this has been a contributing factor to the dramatic increase in the number of people turning to a vegan diet. As much as I respect people's ability to do this I personally cannot ditch meat! Nevertheless I feel that for my health and for the good of the planet I need to find some sort of balance with beef and all the other foodstuffs out there that should appear on my plate.

From this week I'm going to start reducing the amount of beef I eat and increase the amount of vegetables and fish I eat. My aim is to get down to two beef dishes a week but it might take a while!

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