Academics at Oxford have teamed up with supermarkets to get us eating our greens. It’s well known we’re a nation of chip lovers, but the move also hopes to reduce the nation’s meat consumption, reducing health problems and greenhouse gases in the process.
Leading the way is Sainsbury’s, who are a key collaborator in the £5 million project, called Our Planet Our Health. The project hopes to shake up our eating habits and point us in a healthier, more sustainable direction.
The scheme comes in the wake of a study published in the Proceedings of National Sciences in the US which claims that reducing meat consumption could make global deaths fall by 6-10% and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30-70%.
For the everyday consumer however, it mainly means that we might actually be able to stick to our New Year’s Resolutions and Veganuary dreams for more than a week.
The new initiative will see vegetarian alternatives to meat such as veggie sausages or burgers, or Quorn-style products placed alongside their meaty counterparts in a bid to get us all to consider vegetarian meals.
Vegetarian products will no longer be squirrelled away in their own niche aisle. This, according to the experts, will make us more likely to choose them.
In addition to this, customers will get more loyalty points and gift vouchers for buying vegetarian products, which means that for the first time, broccoli might have a purpose beyond terrifying those of us with a strict aversion to anything green.
Free recipes and serving suggestions are also going to be handed out, which will no doubt come as a relief to those who want to get healthy, but still think kale is some kind of mixed-martial art.
Over the years, meat consumption in the UK has fallen, but scientists still feel it could be better.
The meat industry is especially damaging the environment, with the maintenance and transport of cattle and sheep responsible for significant amounts of greenhouse emissions. This also requires huge amounts of pesticide and water.
The health risks of eating too much meat are also already well established, with high levels of saturated fat in red meat particularly contributing to a range of conditions, from heart disease to high blood pressure.
Animals across the country will also no doubt also welcome the change, which they hope could lead to a significant reduction in their mortality rates too.
The new scheme is set to launch soon and a range of Sainsbury’s stores across the country will be used in the trial, so keep your eyes peeled for green offers that could be coming your way soon.