Hundreds of scientists blast ‘zealots’ pushing plant-based diets – DNyuz

Hundreds of scientists blast ‘zealots’ pushing plant-based diets

Hundreds of scientists have banded together to blast the push to adopt a plant-based diet, arguing that meat is critical to a well-balanced diet — and warning against villainizing carnivores.

Experts behind nine new research papers published in Animal Frontiers are among nearly 1,000 signatures on a declaration looking to prove the value of red meat amid a global increase in vegetarianism and veganism.

“Livestock-derived foods provide a variety of essential nutrients and other health-promoting compounds, many of which are lacking in diets even among those populations with higher incomes,” the declaration states.

“Well-resourced individuals may be able to achieve adequate diets while heavily restricting meat, dairy and eggs. However, this approach should not be recommended for general populations.”

The initiative argues that livestock systems are “too precious to society to become the victim of simplification, reduction or zealotry.”

“These systems must continue to be embedded in and have broad approval of society,” the declaration says.

Scientists behind the papers looked to debunk claims that the consumption of red meat is unhealthy and has negative environmental impacts.

The group found that previous research suggesting a diet high in red meat was responsible for 896,000 deaths worldwide was flawed and should be retracted.

This study, the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factor Study, helped to push people away from red meat and towards plant-based eating.

“The peer reviewed evidence published confirms that the [the 2019 Global Burden of Disease Risk Factors Report] that claimed consumption of even small amounts of red beef harms your health was fatally flawed scientifically,” Alice Stanton of The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland.

“In fact, removing fresh meat and dairy from diets would harm human health. Women, children, the elderly and low income would be particularly negatively impacted,” Stanton added.

The scientists warned about the difficulty of replacing meat’s nutritional value with plant-based alternatives and how poorer communities who don’t eat as much meat suffer negative health effects, including stunting, anemia and wasting due to a lack of protein and nutrients.

“Animal-source foods are superior to plant-source foods at simultaneously supplying several bioavailable micronutrients and high-quality macronutrients that are critical for growth and cognitive development,” said Adegbola Adesogan, director of the University of Florida’s Global Food Systems Institute.

“Dietary recommendations to eliminate animal-source foods from diets ignore their importance, particularly the great need for these foods in diets of the undernourished in the Global South.”

The Dublin Declaration, which called for “zealots” to stop promoting a meat-free diet, includes signatures from experts across several top universities, including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol, Belfast, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Surrey as well as several scientists from Britain’s leading farming university Harper Adams.

Animal Frontiers is the official research journal for four professional animal science societies: the American Society of Animal Science, the Canadian Society of Animal Science, the European Federation of Animal Science and the American Meat Science Association.

The article Hundreds criticize ‘zealots,’ who push plant-based diets first appeared on New York Post .