Dutch Government Recommends Less Meat, More Plant-Based Protein
For the first time in the nation’s history, the Netherlands has issued a recommended limit on the intake of meat for its citizens.
Just this week, the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, a government-funded program responsible for issuing dietary guidelines and recommendations, placed a limit on meat by suggesting people consume no more than two servings of it a week. The decision was primarily made to reduce negative impacts on the environment, by limiting every individual’s carbon footprint, and comes five years after a government panel studied the impact on the environment by the average Dutch citizen, concluding that less meat was not only better for health, but also for the environment. The Nutrition Center’s sustainable food expert, Corné van Dooren, stated:
“The new dietary guidelines are implemented in our new education model…in a way that the total environmental impact of the diet is lower than the current consumption. We focus on eating a less animal-based and more plant-based diet by the unique advice to consume not more than 500 grams of meat a week.”
Only 300 grams of the 500 gram recommendation should be red meat, according to the guideline, and in the updated version, seafood was also lowered from two servings a week to one, due to “sustainability issues”. Beyond recommending less meat and seafood intake, the Nutrition Center advocates for replacing these protein sources with plant-based ones, including nuts and pulses.
The Netherlands now joins both Sweden and the United Kingdom in making changes to dietary guidelines based on sustainability concerns.
Photo Credit: http://www.health.harvard.edu