GLOBAL - A new report from the World Resources Institute has urged consumers to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy products to help the environment, but the meat industry has hit back by saying the report is inaccurate and flawed.
The report, 'Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future', singled out beef as the biggest target for reduction in diets.
It said that vegetarian and vegan diets were the best for the environment, but even a small shift from beef to chicken or fish would cut environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emission.
The WRI also targeted American diets, accusing average American males of eating almost double their protein requirement.
However, the North American Meat Institute said that the data used in compiling the report was flawed.
NAMI said the report relies on utilisation data, which are simply a measure of the amount of protein produced and moved through channels divided by the population, but this fails to take into account food waste or other uses such as pet food.
NAMI said that more accurate data are available from various US bodies, which suggest Americans are hitting protein targets on average, although some do over- or under-consume.
In addition, NAMI charged WRI with failing to consider the nutrient-density and health benefits of meat protein, as well as failing to recognise efficiency improvements in some areas of livestock rearing.