The wind of change?

As if bacon-lovers were not distressed enough at being urged to curtail their consumption following recent reports that nitrites in processed meat may be killing them… this week we learn that their breakfast butties are killing the planet too.

Yep, apparently our meat-heavy, vegetable-poor diet is causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to the environment and killing 11 million people a year, according to a new study.

But it goes on to say that if we all adopt a ‘planetary diet’ – which involves halving our intake of meat and doubling our intake of vegetables, nuts and pulses – fewer people would die of both starvation and diet-related heart disease, cancer and obesity etc.

And it’s so simple.

All we need do is eat the equivalent of just one-sixteenth of a burger, two-thirds of a fish finger and a quarter of a rasher of bacon a day. What’s not to love?

And if you like eggs with your bacon, fear not – you’ll be pleased to know you can have between one-fifth to a half of an egg a day (or one-and-a-half a week). Hurrah!

Oh, and let’s not forget potato-lovers… your quota is a half a spud a day.

But back to the report, which was drawn up by 37 experts from 16 countries in a three-year project.

Its authors say that the world population is expected to reach ten billion by 2050, yet Earth has finite resources for food production.

Therefore, their recommended diet, details of which were published in the Lancet, would mean a shift away from meat and dairy towards vegetables, beans, nuts and pulses.

But I just can’t see it catching on. Besides, surely eating all those beans will mean the planet, just to add to its woes, will be groaning under the weight of even more unwanted emissions!

Let’s face it, who is really going to cook a quarter of a rasher of bacon? Then what do we do with the one-third of the fish finger that we’re not allowed to eat? And hands up who wants one-fifth of a scrambled egg (that’s usually the amount left caked on my frying pan once I’ve dished up a ‘normal’ helping.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for saving the planet. But as diet plans go, even if this one doesn’t make us live longer, it will certainly feel like it.

And if life’s too short to stuff a mushroom, it’s definitely too short to defile a fish finger…

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