Public & Stakeholder Engagement coordinates EAT – Lancet report response
On January 16, 2019 the EAT – Lancet Commission for Food launched a report in London regarding human health and nutrition, that includes a negative view of animal proteins in the diet.
The EAT – Lancet report recommendations are an oversimplified solution to complex planetary issues. According to the industry’s Public and Stakeholder Engagement (PSE) team, the approach is extreme, difficult to sustain and not based on sound science.
Since the establishment of the EAT – Lancet working group, the PSE team has been working to compile detailed information on the report and establish strong collaborative teams across the industry to develop media relationships and key messaging.
Media spokespeople, both within associations as staff, and beef producers across the country, have been prepped and are on standby to meet with media to discuss the EAT – Lancet report. The PSE team is also ensuring that media have access to the right spokespeople for each outlet and message.
Beef Advocacy Canada’s new Social Media Training modules were launched earlier this month to ensure that socially engaged producers across the country have access to resources that can help them extend their reach on various social platforms.
Canada Beef is launching a nation-wide TV advertising campaign on January 21 that focuses on the health and nutrition benefits of having beef as a part of a healthy diet. While the ads aren’t directly in response to the EAT – Lancet report, they will provide additional positive messaging at an integral time, while the industry is dealing with the negative light from the report.
Import levy funding through #ThinkBeef has been leveraged in much of the preparation for the EAT – Lancet report, as well as Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funding allocated to PSE.
What can I do?
As a beef producer, or industry stakeholder, your voice is important in telling the great story of beef and beef production. Through check-off funded resources like Beef Advocacy, import levy funded resources like ThinkBeef.ca, you can gather information to build your own positive messages to share personally, through social media, across coffee tables, and at grocery store counters.
Skip directly to the bottom of this article for links to resources to help support your message. If you are asked for an interview, keep these messages in mind and feel free to reach out to the SE team for support.
Below is a condensed version of some of they key messages developed in response:
- The healthiest diets include a variety of whole foods including meat, eggs, dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and pulses. Each of these foundational foods provides more benefit when eaten with another.
- According to Statistics Canada’s Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) data, Canadians currently consume red meat at levels well within the recommendations of Canada’s Food Guide and in amounts similar to the highly regarded Mediterranean diet.
- There is no high-quality evidence directly linking red and processed meat at levels consumed by the average Canadian to negative health outcomes.
- A blanket recommendation for people to swap meat for plant-based proteins can have substantial negative nutrition consequences, including malnutrition, a lack of essential amino acids, and Vitamin B12 deficiencies, and more.
- Canadian farmers and ranchers in animal agriculture produce more food with fewer, land, water and other resources than ever before.
- Considerable gains have been made in all these areas during the past 30 years and our food systems will continue to reduce the environmental footprint by embracing new technologies and animal husbandry practices.
- Raising cattle in the Canada contributes just 2.4% of the country’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Transportation in Canada contributes 28% of the country’s total GHG emissions.
- Research modelling out of the U.S. has demonstrated that eliminated animal agriculture altogether, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by just 2.6 percent and lead to deficiencies of several key nutrients in our diets.
- Nutrient density needs to be factored in when considering environmental impact. Compared to many other foods, meat’s environmental impact is substantially lower considering the nutritional value that it provides.
- Food waste and food loss accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, nearly as much as road transport (9%). EAT-Lancet’s radical recommendations to reduce meat consumption by 90% could increase food waste as fresh produce is 2-3 times more likely to be discarded than meat/dairy.
ThinkBeef.ca: shareable resources like infographics, videos, whitepapers and fact sheets
Beef Advocacy Canada: online training for industry stakeholders in 3 levels
- Course 1: Basic industry messaging/information
- Course 2: Hot button issues and how to advocate effectively
- Course 3: Social media advocacy and training
Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef: shareable resources like infographics and fact sheetsOlder Newer