Finns are currently consuming 20 per cent more meat than at the start of the millennium, according to WWF Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


RED MEAT no more than once a week, broiler no more than a few times a week, no more than six eggs a month and no more than a glass of milk or few slices of cheese a day.

These are some of the dietary recommendations published on Tuesday by WWF Finland. The Finnish chapter of the environmental advocacy group said the recommendations would guarantee a healthy diet to the growing world population, mitigate climate change and secure biodiversity.

The recommendations published by the environmental advocacy group are based on the so-called planetary health diet forwarded by the EAT-Lancet Commission, a community of 30 world-leading scientists conducting a review of what constitutes a healthy and sustainable diet.

WWF on Tuesday reminded that the production of food – and especially animal-based food – is globally one of the single largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and one of the main causes of the habitat loss that has led to a sharp decline in wildlife populations. Almost 85 per cent of agricultural land, it highlighted, is used to produce animal-based food, even though it makes up less than 40 per cent of the protein consumed by people annually.

“In order to contain global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, our diets must become predominantly plant-based,” said Liisa Rohweder, the secretary general at WWF-Finland.

WWF also pointed out that meat consumption has increased by 20 per cent in Finland since 2000.

“The production of animal-based food has increased so much that it in itself is posing a threat to food security. Roughly four times as much land is required to produce meat than plant-based food,” said Annukka Valkeapää, a senior conservation officer at WWF Finland.

The Finnish subsidy scheme for food producers was also singled out for criticism by WWF Finland. The scheme, it argued, allows producers to sell cow milk for less than plant-based milks, even though its production requires much more resources and has a much greater impact on the environment than that of plant-based milks.

“Our meat consumption is attributable to political decisions, such as decisions on agricultural subsidy policy,” said Valkeapää. “In order to create an increase in plant-based diets, they have to be cheap, easy, delicious and acceptable to Finns.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi