Hit­ting back in de­fence of meat

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT -

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.

Fiona Greig

Nutri­tion­ist, Beef + Lamb NZ Inc

CUP BO­NANZA

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.

Jim How­ell

Pa­pakowhai

NEWHOSPITAL

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.

Tim Ab­bott

Waikanae

WRITE TO US

Do you feel strongly about an is­sue in your com­mu­nity or have some­thing to say about our city? Con­tact us editor@kmananews.co.nz or via Neigh­bourly. Please in­clude your full name, ad­dress and con­tact num­ber. No anony­mous let­ters will be ac­cepted. Let­ters are pub­lished at the editor’s dis­cre­tion.

PHOTO: MICHAEL BRADLEY

Sta­tis­tics show New Zealan­ders are eat­ing less beef and lamb.

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