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Food

International celebrities, academics and business leaders call on world leaders to end factory farming

LOOK TO THE STARS: More than 200 prominent individuals have united through an international open letter to call on world leaders at the COP27 climate conference to end factory farming and transform our global food system. The letter – organized by Compassion in World Farming as part of its new End of the Line for Factory Farming global campaign – highlights the urgent need to transform our global food system and calls on world leaders to support and deliver a global agreement on food and farming at the United Nations General Assembly. It is being released on Solutions Day at the conference.…

Veganism in Japan: How ‘soft’ activism is changing minds in a meat-eating nation

RUBY RAMSDEN: Japan is a country with a long history of government-enforced meat bans. The first meat-ban, enacted in 673 CE, prohibited the consumption of horses, dogs, chickens, and monkeys, and was likely issued to promote rice cultivation and dissuade citizens from hunting during the spring and summer seasons. Other meat bans had various motivations, from economic to religious. In his book Animal Care in Japanese Tradition, W. Puck Brecher points out that local Japanese religion typically encouraged good treatment of animals, in contrast with Judeo-Christian teachings, which have long…

STUDY: Processed meat found to increase risk of dementia by 44%

MELISSA SCOTT: Various research studies have highlighted the factors found to potentially contribute to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. In a study, it has been shown that consumption of processed meat could increase dementia risk. This research was carried out by scientists from the University's Nutritional Epidemiology Group. They utilized data from 500,000 people and found that consumption of 25g serving of processed meat a day, the equivalent of one rasher of bacon, is linked with an increased risk of developing the disease by 44 percent... Researchers were trying…

UNDENIABLY WAIRY: How ‘big dairy’ infiltrated TikTok

BJORN OLAFSSON: If you don’t know who “MrBeast” is, your kids almost certainly do. He’s massive with the Gen Z demographic, consistently trending on TikTok and YouTube, most famous for eye-grabbing philanthropic stunts or Squid Game recreations, sometimes reaching over a billion views a month. He’s also the latest influencer to collaborate with Undeniably Dairy, a massive, multiyear, marketing campaign designed to boost sagging sales of milk worldwide. But this campaign isn’t a ‘how do you do fellow kids’ cringey faux pax. These videos are popular, cool even: Iced coffee hacks. Cooking…

SURVEY: 42% of consumers believe plant-based food will replace meat by 2032

MOHSINA DODHIYA: New consumer research has found that four out of 10 consumers worldwide think most people will ditch meat for plant-based food in the next decade. The study was conducted by global insights and advisory consultancy GlobeScan and EAT, a science-based non-profit for global food system transformation. They surveyed almost 30,000 consumers in 31 markets around the world across healthy, sustainable, and equitable food provision. The results were presented in the second edition of the Grains of Truth series. Key findings include 42% of the respondents claiming that in the next 10…

MILESTONE: FDA approves lab-grown meat for human consumption, animal rights advocates hail the move

ECONOMIC TIMES: In a historic first, the U.S. FDA approved lab-grown meat for human consumption. The Food and Drug Administration considered the lab-grown chicken produced by Upside Foods, a California-based startup, safe for consumption. The approval of cultured meat by the US regulator is considered a major milestone by companies and animal rights organizations like PETA... The FDA announced on Wednesday that it evaluated the information Upside Foods submitted and was satisfied with the conclusions. The regulator asserted that the company had completed the “pre-market consultation” of…

BEING VEGAN: New report links veganism with a stronger sense of well-being

POLITICS.CO.UK: A new report 'Wellbeing and Veganism: A Concept Report 2022' by The Vegan Society asks whether veganism can be a pathway towards a greater sense of wellbeing and connection with ourselves, our values and nature. This is the society’s first concept report, which brings together insights from across a range of literature to begin to address the gap in knowledge concerning the relationship between a vegan lifestyle, happiness, and other areas of wellbeing. Considering questions such as “Do we have to sacrifice hedonism if we want to live a life with more meaning?” and “What…

COP-OUT: The meat that COP27 is not talking about

NITIN MEHTA: As world leaders meet in Cairo to try and stop a catastrophe that the human race faces, no one notices the vegan elephant in the room. The world leaders in Cairo will hardly mention meat as the single most cause of the dire state of our planet. Indeed, meat is on the menu for the delegates. According to Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist, when you eat a steak, you kill a lemur in Madagascar. You eat a chicken, you kill an Amazonian parrot. This is because rainforests are being decimated and converted to pasture and feed crops to meet the increasing demand for meat and dairy. Between…

The meat industry is borrowing tactics from Big Oil to obfuscate the truth about climate change

BRIAN KATEMAN: The New York Times published findings from Unearthed, the investigative arm of Greenpeace U.K., regarding the funding of The CLEAR Center, a major research center for environmentalism and sustainability. The center is located at the University of California, Davis and headed by Dr. Frank Mitloehner. According to the report, it receives the majority of its funding from organizations directly connected to the agriculture industry. Worse, CLEAR was conceived by a trade group — IFeeder, the nonprofit extension of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA). IFeeder is "a…

There’s one big subject our leaders at Cop27 won’t touch: livestock farming

GEORGE MONBIOT: There are just two actions needed to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown: leave fossil fuels in the ground and stop farming animals. But, thanks to the power of the two industries, both aims are officially unmentionable. Neither of them has featured in any of the declarations from the 26 climate summits concluded so far. Astonishingly, the sectors themselves are seldom mentioned. I’ve worked through every final agreement produced by the summits since they began. Fossil fuels are named in only six of them... The other omission is even starker. Livestock is mentioned in…