An influential committee of British MPs has issued a report urging people in Great Britain to eat less meat less in order to help ease the food crises in the developing world and keep a lid on rampant price inflation that has plagued the UK, seeing the cost of staple foods rise by nearly a third in the last five years.
The international development select committee issued the “Global Food Security” report, which states that an increase in meat consumption in industrial countries in the last few decades has led to increases in the prices of grains used for animal feed, increased deforestation worldwide, and increased obesity.
The report suggests that going meatless even one or two days per week could help ease these global pressures, which are disproportionately afflicting the developing world. In addition, the MPs suggested that a national campaign on reducing food waste should be a priority.
The report also cites the fact that going vegetarian for even just a few meals per week would have positive health benefits for citizens, and calls on the government to implement a public health campaign to urge people to change their behavior.
Sir Michael Bruce, chairman of the committee, told told The Guardian, “There is no room for complacency about food security over the coming decades if UK consumers are to enjoy stable supplies and reasonable food prices.”
He continued, “UK aid to help smallholders increase food production in the developing world is of direct benefit to UK consumers as rising world food prices will reduce living standards of hard-pressed UK consumers.”
The MPs went so far as to state that the UK was “never more than a few days away from a significant food shortage,” because of the country’s reliance on imports.
The report was released in June as governments from around the world converged on London for a summit on nutrition and world hunger.