Tax on red meat is hard to swallow, and I have a beef with those who tell us what we can and can’t eat
seems as though every day there is some new piece of research in the news about which foods are supposedly good for us and those we should avoid.
In fact, if we believed every bit of research, we probably wouldn’t eat anything at all.
Now a study by the University of Oxford has concluded that a tax on red and processed meat could prevent nearly 6,000 deaths a year from cancers, heart attacks and strokes, as well as offsetting the cost of these conditions to the NHS.
They suggest prices should be raised by up to 80% for some processed products and 14% for red meats.
This feels like scaremongering. I understand the concern around processed meats being unhealthy, but this research suggests that red meat is a problem, and it’s not.
We’ve always eaten meat. It’s full of iron and protein and I think taxing it, just as with the sugar tax, is going to hurt the people who can least afford it.
If you treat yourself to a steak you would be taxed for eating something you enjoy because someone says: “Our research shows this could be bad for you and we want to recoup the money spent on your health.” Well, I don’t buy that.
I don’t eat loads of red meat. In fact, I like everything in moderation – and that goes for portion size as well – and in mixing what I eat between fish, chicken, red meat and having different colours of vegetables. There may be some things I like better than others, but I try to get variety wherever possible.
It takes your body longer to process meat compared to fish, for instance, so as I get older I wouldn’t eat a huge steak later on in an evening because it would take a while to get through my system and would affect my sleep.
But we seem to be demonising red meat at the moment. Next month we’ll be on to something else to hang the “bad” hat on.
If something has been scientifically proven to be harmful then that’s one thing.
But in Scotland we’re famous for our beef – it’s a big part of our diet, whether it’s steak or mince and tatties.
So much of the research is conflicting, and can also be manipulated to fit a certain agenda.
I just take it with a pinch of salt – but not too much salt.
Should Desperate Dan give up his cow pie for quinoa?