Wholesale changes to the nation’s diet, with a move towards vegetarian food and away from beef and cheese, have been recommended by Government advisers.Now, before we begin screaming in unison "if you take away my beef, people will die, motherfuckers!" it's worth counting to ten and noting that it is a Mail story and perhaps therefore best treated with caution.
A report commissioned by the Food Standards Agency suggests radical changes to what we eat and even how we cook.
Out would go beef, cheese, sugary foods and drinks such as tea, coffee and cocoa. In would come vegetables and pulses, together with yoghurt.
The FSA says the switch is necessary as part of a move to a diet that is low in greenhouse gases (GHG), which are associated with climate change.
To be fair to the Mail, they did point out that the study was compiled by Al Gore's tainted useful idiots over at the University of East Anglia, but it's still worth further investigation considering that it is being touted as a recommendation to government and so - as readers of this blog will know all too well - will be referenced by dozy MPs for the foreseeable future.
And it seems that the Mail were, indeed, economic with the facts. It wasn't just compiled by the UEA, it also drew 'evidence' from experts cherry-picked by them ... if not actually employed at the UEA itself.
Review authors:It was the science equivalent of being asked a question and phoning a friend, a fact confirmed by the procedure employed by the FSA as revealed by the authors.
- Dr Iain Lake (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia)
- Dr Asmaa Abdelhamid (School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, and School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia)
- Dr Lee Hooper (Diet and Health, School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia)
Review co-authors and experts (external to the FSA):
- Professor Graham Bentham (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia)
- Dr Alistair Boxall (EcoChemistry Research Group, University of York / Central Services Laboratory)
- Dr Alizon Draper (Centre for Public Health Nutrition, University of Westminster)
- Professor Sue Fairweather-Tait (School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia)
- Professor Mike Hulme (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia)
- Professor Paul Hunter (School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia)
- Dr Gordon Nichols (Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency)
- Professor Keith Waldron (Institute of Food Research)
It appears to have gone something like this:
1) Government asks for advice.
2) The FSA issues a tender specifying a 6 week turnaround.
3) The UEA ring around a few pals and see if their diary is free for a bit of easy money.
4) The UEA enter a dirt cheap bid seeing as they have old reports lying around (some of which they wrote themselves) and the 'experts' they have chosen are in the next office.
5) They have a chat with each other and send 111 pages to the FSA.
6) They get paid.
7) The report is a worthless piece of propagandised garbage.
8) You paid for it.
9) You also paid for the FSA to commission it.
And, err, that's it. No new research; no public involvement; no engaging with food producers or other interests; nothing but people already committed to advocating vegan diets exhorting government to force you to stop eating meat.
Oh yeah, and did I mention that we paid for this crap? I did? Good.
Remind me. Why are the FSA being kept on again, exactly?