Eat less meat to reduce climate change says Dutch gov't agency

Meat processing
Meat processing

Eating less meat and drinking less alcohol and soft drinks will not only benefit Dutch people's health, but also the environment, the national institute for public health and environment RIVM said in a report on Tuesday, the Volkskrant reports.

The report recommends that Dutch people consume less across the board - less consumption is essential if the Netherlands wants to achieve its objectives, the RIVM says. The production of food is globally responsible for more than 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for over 60 percent of the loss of biodiversity. More than half that can be attributed to the production of animal products.

According to the RIVM, the Netherlands is still a long way away from a safe, healthy and sustainable diet. Our current eating habits are wasteful, polluting, unhealthy and fattening. The government should therefore play an active role in promoting sustainable and healthy food, the RIVM says. An example on how to do so is putting a higher VAT on meat. 

The RIVM also calls for clearer food labeling, so that consumers can see at a glance whether a product is healthy and sustainable.