Diet debate – for personal and planet health

Much less meat, much less dairy – I’m hearing this a bit now. It is supposed to be better for personal health as well as being better for the planet, but it also has serious implications for a country reliant a lot on it’s meat and dairy production.

There has long been debate about diets for personal health, ranging from money-making fads to common sense. There is now growing debate about changing personal diets for the good of the planet.

Newstalk ZB:  New diet hailed as ‘life-saving’ but comes with a catch

That’s a stupid headline.  There have been so many diet variations promoted over the years ‘new diet’ needs to be taken with a grain of wheat. Or rice, as long as it is not processed.

‘Life-saving’ is a meaningless claim – any diet could enhance your chances iof continuing to live, or not. Supposedly life enhancing and life saving diets have been dished up and debunked for decades.

A new diet is being hailed as “life-saving” by experts, but there’s a catch…you can only eat red meat once a week.

There’s another catch – ‘experts’ have a wide variety of opinions on diets.

That’s as much red meat people should eat to do what’s best for their health and the planet, according to a report seeking to overhaul the world’s diet.

The report from a panel of nutrition, agriculture and environmental experts recommends a plant-based diet, based on previously published studies that have linked red meat to increased risk of health problems. It also comes amid recent studies of how eating habits affect the environment. Producing red meat takes up land and feed to raise cattle, which also emit the greenhouse gas methane.

Associate professor at Massey Universty, Carol Wham, told Tim Dower this will be a real reality check for people.

“What it is doing is saying globally this is what we might need to reach by the year 2050.”

“For us in New Zealand, it’s about moderating our meat, it’s about primarily reducing excessive consumption and what it says instead, is that we need to double our consumption of fruit, vegetables [and] things like legumes and nuts which we really eat insufficient amounts of.”

“Our dietary fibre intakes are woefully low so eating a more plant-based diet has huge benefits for us.”

She said it’s all about “moderation over time” and getting creative with how you cook.

Moderation is generally good advice with diets – whatever diet you follow. But you don’t need to be creative – often simple food is as good as anything.

Wham said while New Zealand isn’t the focus of the study, it’s still important we do our bit.

“This is just looking globally at what it has to look like if we are going to have a sustainable system in the future and health of people and the planet.”

“We can’t keep going the way we are, we have got such an epidemic of obesity. In the US for example, they produced twice the amount of food than they need to eat.”

But there are a lot of variabilities with diets with personal preferences, seasonal and in different parts of the world. And diet advice is an evolving thing.

John Ioannidis, chair of disease prevention at Stanford University, said he welcomed the growing attention to how diets affect the environment, but that the report’s recommendations do not reflect the level of scientific uncertainties around nutrition and health.

“The evidence is not as strong as it seems to be,” Ioannidis said.

There is a lot of variable and conflicting evidence. Diet is a very complex thing.

The report was organized by EAT, a Stockholm-based nonprofit seeking to improve the food system, and published Wednesday by the medical journal Lancet. The panel of experts who wrote it says a “Great Food Transformation” is urgently needed by 2050, and that the optimal diet they outline is flexible enough to accommodate food cultures around the world.

Overall, the diet encourages whole grains, beans, fruits and most vegetables, and says to limit added sugars, refined grains such as white rice and starches like potatoes and cassava. It says red meat consumption on average needs to be slashed by half globally, though the necessary changes vary by region and reductions would need to be more dramatic in richer countries like the United States.

And New Zealand.

Convincing people to limit meat, cheese and eggs won’t be easy, however, particularly in places where those foods are a notable part of culture.

Also because diet advice keeps changing. Who to believe?

My diet has changed considerably over the past couple of decades, bot what I eat and the quantity I eat. I already eat considerably less meat than I used to. Will I eat even less? I don’t see a pressing need.

Diets are for other people. Eating a variety of things in moderation just seems like common sense, without getting too swayed by the latest diets and campaigns.

 

60 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  January 19, 2019

    Reminds me of the nuclear clock which has now been adjusted for Global Warming.
    Nutritionists stick with your diets.

    • Griff.

       /  January 19, 2019

      Actually we should be concerned for the long term viability of our major industry’s
      The move away from meat is real.
      As are the questions being asked of the sustainability of dairy and the issue of food miles.
      Best to look outwards and watch the world rather then stick your head in the sand and and try to ignore the changing reality’s around us.

      • NOEL

         /  January 19, 2019

        Greens gonna take the GST off fruit and vegetables to make it achievable??

        • Griff.

           /  January 19, 2019

          WTF
          Now that is what you call a straw man.

          • NOEL

             /  January 19, 2019

            No its not because the claim is to severely reduce meat consumption and increase fruit and vegetable intake.

      • Pink David

         /  January 19, 2019

        “As are the questions being asked of the sustainability of dairy and the issue of food miles.”

        Food miles is the most nonsensical idea of recent times. The simple fact people are better feed now than at any time in the past shows just how successful having food miles is.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 19, 2019

          The cost of removing the GST was going to be greater than the amount saved, so we’d be paying more for the things, just in a different way. I couldn’t see how this could be, but it was.

          Food has always travelled to some extent, it’s just easier now. What next ? No tins or jars or fridges ?

          • Pink David

             /  January 19, 2019

            “The cost of removing the GST was going to be greater than the amount saved, so we’d be paying more for the things, just in a different way. I couldn’t see how this could be, but it was.”

            Complexity of the system. In Australia you get silly things like paying GST on a pie if you sit down and eat it there, but no GST if you eat it outside. And different rules if the pie is hot or cold. NZ has had a very sensible approach of working to keep the tax system as simple as possible, but sadly this is gradually being eroded. In the UK the tax code is 17,000 pages, That means it is simply pack full of holes, which only people who can afford significant accounting time can exploit.

            “Food has always travelled to some extent, it’s just easier now. What next ? No tins or jars or fridges ?”

            The more food travels, the better fed people are.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 19, 2019

              A model in the UK was prosecuted for not declaring her future earnings or expenses (I forget the details, it had something to do with VAT) In vain did she say that her earnings were different each year or even each month and week, probably, as she wasn’t on a wage and might even earn nothing at all.

              I know that there are things like, well, let’s say an eggcup with an Easter egg in it (can’t think of anything else offhand) Is it mainly an ornament, mainly a dish or mainly a piece of confectionary ? Things like this happen, as with the little cats that held perfume bottles. Here they’d say that it cost $1 so it’s $1.15 with GST. In the UK, there would be endless debates as (let’s say for the sake of argument that dishes are 9%, ornaments 11% and confectionery 13%) to which the egg in an eggcup was, as one side wants the lowest and the VAT people want the highest. I know that the perfume cats were a real example. Were they charged as toy cats or as perfume?

        • PartisanZ

           /  January 19, 2019

          Food miles almost certainly increase exponentially with the ‘luxury’ and indeed non-necessity of the food …

          An example would be daily airfreight shipments of mushrooms to Tokyo

  2. Blazer

     /  January 19, 2019

    ‘you are what you eat’.

    Can see the case for eating natural foods and avoiding processed foods.
    Hydrogenated fats,corn syrup,fructose,artificial additives ,colouring and preservatives should be dispensed with.

    Look at any supermarket display and sugar and salt rich foods and snacks are prominent.
    When Coca Cola has 4 out of the top 10 categories for supermarket sales,you don’t need to wonder why obesity and diabetes is such a huge and costly imposition on society.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  January 19, 2019

      “eating natural foods and avoiding processed foods”. Best avoid the supermarket then. My delicious home grown grapes are dead after three days. Supermarket grapes are fully inflated but still tasteless after three weeks. Even the fruit flies have turned their toes up. Why is that?

      • Gezza

         /  January 19, 2019

        I couldn’t believe this was the leading news item on 1ewes last night. And I thought, “Good luck with that one.”

        • Blazer

           /  January 19, 2019

          what would you have lead with?

          Prince Philip flipped….travellers hunker down….Meghan has morning sickness….Sonny Bill says he may have another boxing match….wedding bells for Beauden!!

          • Gezza

             /  January 19, 2019

            I’d have led with something, because I don’t like using “lead” for the present and the past participle when it has two completely different pronunciations for each case. Whoever decided that lead could be used in both cases I would have had placed in the stocks on a Friday night in the Town Square and then obliged to replace it in the dictionaries with only the word “led” to be used for the past participle.

            I can’t remember what the 2nd item was. I’m injured. Me back’s still causing me major grief, altho slowly improving. My concentration span’s not the best under optimal conditions, frankly, as you know – & it’s downright abysmally short at the moment becoz managing pain – but in a quiet and manly way.

            Definitely Prince Phil. A “horror crash” usually leads. And he’s certainly been a bit of a horror a few times. Wonder who’s to blame?

            Beaudy’s getting married ??

            Otherwise maybe this story:
            https://www.tvnz.co.nz/content/tvnz/onenews/story/2019/01/18/wellington-rats-face-death-by-chocolate-in-trapping-trial.html?variant=tb_v_1

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 19, 2019

              I buy supermarket grapes, and they are not tasteless, even the US ones have some flavour. I don’t think that they are pumped up; who’d do that job? The little flies love the stalks, because there’s a tiny bit of grape on them. I bought a little fliptop bin for compost storage and take it out to the big bin when it’s full. Although the lid fits tightly, there are always little flies in there (how the buggers get in is a mystery)

              Crashes are always horror crashes, rescues pluck people to safety, people flying to a bedside make mercy dashes, assaults are brutal…

              A wish that someone would die is dressed up to be a death threat.

              The silly old fart should have lost his license years ago.

  3. Corky

     /  January 19, 2019

    Is the climate change scam running out of puff and a new hobby horse needed?

    Are these the expert who in the 50s discovered people in Japan and the Mediterranean ate less meat and had less heart disease? They then formulated the Cholesterol Theory, leaving out large portions of their studies that didn’t support this pet theory?

    The result was staple ( and stable when cooked) foods like eggs, meat, cheese and lard were demonised…while processed oils and complex carbohydrates were lauded. It’s cost millions of people their lives in my opinion.

    Now science is in a flux. Many researches realise they have a problem. Yet our health model is still predicated on staples being bad for us. This new initiative to save the planet may just be what they need to save face.

    Of course if people get serious and follow this suggested trend, many more will die. The increase in plant based food consumption will lead to an increase uptake of herbicides pesticides and produce longevity chemicals.

    And how will we cope with the massive demand for more plant based produce? Import for China?

    Sounds like quack science and socialism covertly combined to help the planet and those who are needy.

    GT

    • Pink David

       /  January 19, 2019

      • Corky

         /  January 19, 2019

        No wonder liberals want to go ‘plant based.’ Looks like Ted Nugents kitchen table.

    • NOEL

       /  January 19, 2019

      Corkey I preferred the old days before the nutritionists got their power.
      Back then you could blame it all on something called the “enviornment”. Now its all your fault.

      • Corky

         /  January 19, 2019

        Very cryptic, Noel. Did they know what the environment was back in those days?

        • NOEL

           /  January 19, 2019

          i think it was DDT deldrin 245T etc.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 19, 2019

            Noel, nutritionists have been around forever, so have vegetarians and fruitarians. There is nutrition advice in the Old Testament.

  4. Pink David

     /  January 19, 2019

    Diet advice created by a billionaire who zips around the world in a private jet caring about the environment. Stordalen paid for all this nonsense, he’s Norways answer to Donald Trump.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petter_Stordalen

    • Corky

       /  January 19, 2019

      His shelia may have had a big say in this.

      • Pink David

         /  January 19, 2019

        I don’t doubt it, but she didn’t have the $20 million to chuck at it.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 19, 2019

          What’s a ‘shelia’ ?

          • Corky

             /  January 19, 2019

            Sorry, I meant space shuttle.

          • Gezza

             /  January 19, 2019

            sheila
            noun
            INFORMAL•AUSTRALIAN/NZ
            a girl or woman

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 19, 2019

              Oh, he means a sheila when he says shelia.

            • Corky

               /  January 19, 2019

              Yes. Next time have a guess..or use a dictionary.😄

              Opps, forgot. You can’t think laterally. Carry on!

            • Gezza

               /  January 19, 2019

              Yes, I believe so, but I reckon he probably didn’t want to get involved in a pointless slanging match with you when his meaning was very clear, at least to any kiwi or aussie blokes. 😐

            • Gezza

               /  January 19, 2019

              Do you mind not just barging in like that when I’m having a civil discussion with Kitty trying to make you sound reasonable, Corks?

            • Corky

               /  January 19, 2019

              Er, it’s a blog. Live with it. Don’t worry about me.

            • Gezza

               /  January 19, 2019

              I know. I was puling your leg. I often do that, because you give me heaps of grins.

              Don’t take me seriously on everything I say. Corks. I don’t take everything you say seriously.

              Keep up the god wrok. All the best 👍

            • Gezza

               /  January 19, 2019

              *puling = pulling, with one “i” accidentally missed out – a typo.
              No need to look it up. 😉

            • Gezza

               /  January 19, 2019

              🙄
              that “i” should have been an “l”. It’s me sore back – I have to sit too far back from the keyboard.
              Ah screw it. Never mind.
              Forget I ever said anything. 😐

            • Corky

               /  January 19, 2019

              You gto me.😜

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 19, 2019

      That guy looks a right plonker. I hope he falls into the lake.The towels show that bleach is not on his list of things that are bad for the environment.

      • Gezza

         /  January 19, 2019

        She looks orange too. Trying to think who else does … o_O

      • Corky

         /  January 19, 2019

        Well, that’s your opinion. And you are entitled to it. But my guess is he employs many people. Plonker or not, that makes him a winner in my book. Plus, he has a lot of money; a beautiful wife and children. That makes him a double winner for me.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  January 19, 2019

          Drug dealers make fortunes and employ many people, too, but that doesn’t make them winners. Slave traders did and do, too. So do makers and sellers of child porn. I don’t regard merely having a lot of money and all the accessories like a beautiful wife and children as being a criterion for being a winner.

          • Corky

             /  January 19, 2019

            ”I don’t regard merely having a lot of money and all the accessories like a beautiful wife and children as being a criterion for being a winner.”

            I do. As long as it’s honest money. When compared to someone with little money, it’s a no brainer for me.

            Of course being a winner and having a successful life are two different things.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 19, 2019

              I know people who have both things; money and integrity. My stepfather was one. He said that one day he’d have 100 men working for him, and he did. More, probably.

              But there are people whose money is earned honestly and whose private lives are evil, like Jimmy Saville. A winner ? I think not.

            • Corky

               /  January 19, 2019

              Make that a fulfilling life, not a successful life.

            • Blazer

               /  January 19, 2019

              so do the ‘cheese and kisses’ and the bogan offspring qualify as…’beautiful?

  5. David

     /  January 19, 2019

    Great idea for the weak minded who dont mind having a sub optimal diet, for folk who spend what little energy they get from eating lawn clippings to wring their hands at the damage they wrought.
    Pathetic, eat some meat or some fish and enjoy life you are an omnivore.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 19, 2019

      I don’t eat meat and am revolted at the thought, but I don’t harangue other people and tell them to stop eating animal carcases, although I wish that they would.

      I do it because of personal preference and don’t pretend to be doing it for the planet. If I was told that eating cooked dead pigs was good for the planet, I still wouldn’t do it.

      I have just been using the weed-eater and come in for a break; blast, I forgot to bring the lawn clippings in for my dinner tonight.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  January 19, 2019

        I don’t make the dog eat vegetarian meals, but he does love some vegetables like peas and cabbage and will eat as much as I give him. But dogs are meat eaters, and he has meat meals and meat based treats.

  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 19, 2019

    Fishing policies

    Labour: Give people fish
    National: You can fish if you have enough money to buy quota
    NZF: You can fish if you donate to Winston First
    ACT: Teach people to fish
    Greens: Ban fishing

    • Corky

       /  January 19, 2019

      Damn straight.

    • Blazer

       /  January 19, 2019

      Al-‘gone fishing’!😁

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 19, 2019

        Nope, just been solving a friend’s roof problems for a fraction of what it was going to cost her. Just need a deluge to test it after I get it installed. Can we please schedule a dose of extreme weather in about a fortnight? Hope climate change doesn’t disappoint.

    • PartisanZ

       /  January 19, 2019

      Alan gone ACT …???

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 19, 2019

        Just telling it as it is, PZ. In case you want to forgo red meat.

  7. PartisanZ

     /  January 19, 2019

    The doco ‘Cowspiracy’ claims world hunger could be cured almost overnight and around 50% of emissions eliminated if we just stopped raising livestock …

    90% of the crops grown in the USA are fed to animals.

    But we wouldn’t want to have any kind of ‘transitions’ in our economy, now would we?

    Not like we had from native forest clearance to ‘gum, gold and mineral rushes’ to pastoral farming – mainly sheep – to dairy farming then exotic forestry to horticulture like Kiwi … to Finance, Insurance, Immigration & Real Estate …

    Especially not if it was good for the planet …

    • Pink David

       /  January 19, 2019

      “But we wouldn’t want to have any kind of ‘transitions’ in our economy, now would we?”

      I would guess that is because most of the time these ‘transitions’ turn into something profoundly evil. Pol pot ‘transitioned’ Cambodia to his agrarian socialist state, only cost a quarter of the population their lives. Venezuela has just ‘transitioned’ from a middle income country with problems, into a basket case of starvation and millions fleeing. Look at the dozens of examples of these transitions to ‘better’ food production, and it’s a see of mass murder.

      Perhaps it is understandable that I believe the motivations of people who call for these ‘transitions’ are not in any way as noble as they pretend. Often, they are simply fools, and the rest of the time just old fashioned evil.

      A delightful fact: Leonardo DiCaprio produced Cowspiracy, so that’s two wealthy jetsetter’s telling other, vastly poorer, people how they should live while they shovel down the campaign and hug trees in exotic locations. In one thread!

    • Pink David

       /  January 19, 2019

      Cheers, old sport…