In the first half of October 2018, scientists voiced a final call to save the world from irreversible changes, giving us 12 years maximum to help reduce the effects. So the question is, what can we do to help? Can the food & beverage industry contribute?
Well, the recent debate has been whether we should decrease our meat consumption or not. Could we all do a little more to save our planet? That’s where the debate comes in.
During the last year, a lot of people have been using less plastic. Restaurants and bars favouring paper, metal, and even bamboo straws to minimise the use of plastic. This comes after the shocking statistic showing that we use around 8.5 billion plastic straws a year in the UK alone. Not just that but shops are also doing their bit. They are providing cotton shopping bags, reducing packaging and in some cases going completely package free. Edinburgh’s first package free store opened up last month, called The Eco Larder. So it is clear that we are trying to do more; but is this enough?
There are many people that think it isn’t.
There have been many debates rising around the consumption of meat, but could the vegetarians and vegans have some points about the economic benefits of avoiding meat?
It is found that eating less meat can do a lot of good for the planet as the livestock industry creates as much greenhouse gas as the vehicles on our roads. This means that reducing consumption can slow down the agricultural and carbon footprints – reducing the amount of trees that are cut down for more grazing pastures and combatting the packaging problem with the plastic and chemicals that our meat is contained in. But the opposing side of this point is of course ‘why should I stop eating food that I like?’ The view shared among many people; and there’s a point, it is hard to change your lifestyle completely. So this is where the food and beverage industry can do their bit to help.
Researchers found that Britons actually eat out twice a week on average, showing that pubs are growing in popularity. It was stated that people in Briton may end up spending over £280,000 in their lifetime just on eating out. Could we put that money into something more environmentally friendly?
The approach is that we don’t need to necessarily go meatless – we just need to eat meat less. So instead of eating meat each day, why not substitute a few days to try some alternatives or just go without? Could our cafes and restaurants do a ‘Meat Free Monday’ or simply offer substitute items on the menu? A study found that around 70% of diners actually avoid places due to the lack of meat free options. It is hard to expect steakhouses and other restaurants and brands to completely change their menu to fit everyone. However, reducing meat in some food places could be a good start, or could even perhaps be enough to do some good in itself.
Whether you eat less meat, use metal straws or even read about the changes you can, and are making a difference.
What do you think about the meat debate? Do you think the F&B industry can help? We’d love to know your opinions in the comments!