Hitting back in defence of meat
In response to the article ‘‘Go meat free and save the world’’, (Kapi-Mana News, July 11) which made an assumption about our meat consumption, it is a common misconception that New Zealanders are big meat eaters, when in fact it is slowly declining. The last national nutrition survey highlighted New Zealand men eat an average 64g beef and lamb per day, and women 38g/day, down from the previous survey. This sits below the World Cancer Research Fund recommendation of no more than 500g/week cooked (equivalent to about 750g raw/ week).
The notion that eating less meat is good for the environment is based on the mistaken belief production of grain or other plant foods could be substituted wherever meat is produced. In New Zealand, large areas of countryside are most efficiently used for growing pasture for sheep and cattle to turn into protein. New Zealand farmers use modern farming techniques and the latest science to improve their knowledge of livestock and the environment, while still depending on the same natural resources of soil, sunshine and rain their forefathers used.
The New Zealand meat industry is working to understand its impact on the environment and identify ways to improve. The industry is proud of its achievements in the environmental area, producing healthy, nutritious, sustainable meat, which plays an important role in diets of New Zealanders.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand recommendations align with the Ministry of Health Eating and Activity Guidelines, which is eating lean red meat in moderation, that is, palm-sized portions and no more than 500g cooked/week. This recognises red meat is a nutrient dense food as part of a healthy lifestyle, complemented with plenty of veges for a complete, nutritious meal.
Nutritionist, Beef + Lamb NZ Inc
Leith Wallace asks how public money spent on America’s Cup publicity will benefit our economy (DomPost, July 8). The last time New Zealand held the cup I was stationed in the United States. My job was to promote American investment in New Zealand. The most powerful sales tool in my kit proved to be The Auld Mug. In contrast to the majority of Americans who know little or nothing of the America’s Cup, our target audience of potential investors were all keenly aware of this race and of New Zealand’s achievement in winning it.
To them, this spoke of innovation and New Zealanders’ ‘‘can do’’ qualities, which they admired and respected. This time around those qualities are writ larger. We should expect likewise for the rewards.
The news that Wellington is being gifted a new $50 million children’s hospital is rightly being celebrated. And, of course, National politicians have been standing in the reflected sunshine, as you would expect in the election run-up.
But, in Kapiti there is growing resentment about poor accessibility to medical services. The area is chock full of retirement villages and has about the highest concentration of elderly with disabilities in New Zealand. We have 53,000 people in Kapiti, yet more than 7000 went to hospital by ambulance last year.
Other regions with far fewer people have community hospitals and Kapiti has an overpowering case for one to handle run-of-themill emergencies, and assess people who might not need to make the 130km round trip to Wellington. Even the bean counters would soon see that the benefits outweighed the costs.
This week, there was a public meeting in Paraparaumu to promote the cause. But from the National politicians, just the sound of silence.
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Statistics show New Zealanders are eating less beef and lamb.