Eating Better brings together over 50 UK-based civil society organisations working to help people move towards food that’s better for us and the planet. Its recent report, The Future of Food is Flexitarian, highlights 20 businesses that are helping their customer eat less, and better, meat and more plant based food. Sue Dibb at Eating Better notes the importance of cross-sector learning. “In the past environmental organisations have found it difficult to talk to health organisations, and vice versa.” The joining up of civil society is key to address and communicate the concept of well-being of humans being inextricably linked to the health of soils, the land and the planet.
Eating Better further emphasises the role of collaboration – of companies, policy makers, investors and civil society - in supporting the mainstreaming of sustainable diets. This cross-sector approach is particularly important, notes Dibb, if companies are going to restructure their businesses towards predominantly plant-based diets with less meat and dairy and a greater focus on better meat.
The shift to more sustainable diets will be a challenge. Patrick Holden believes that failing to differentiate between “meat which can be part of the solution and meat, which is the problem” is hard to do. He sees grass-fed livestock as playing a central role in a sustainable food system and warns of not “throwing out the ruminant grass fed baby with the bathwater of industrial chickens and pork”. He sees enormous confusion, especially amongst young people around meat, and education about ‘better meat’ therefore needs to be part of the solution.