A couple of years ago a report was published called the EAT Lancet, this report was supposed to be the blueprint for human and planetary health. Many people took it on face value and there have since been countless diet and recipe books published on this supposedly miracle cure. Let's not forget that The Lancet is a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal. It is among the world's oldest and best-known general medical journals, meaning it should be a non-biased excellent source of information.
We've written about this before and the report has been heavily critiqued, so why bring this up again?
Because perhaps, the architect of the report is backtracking on her recommendations and is actually recognising the role regenerative agriculture can play in future food security. But first a little background on the report from our facebook post in 2020.
Gunhild Anker Stordalen is the Founder and Executive Chair of EAT Foundation. She founded the EAT Initiative in 2013 with the idea of transforming the global food system to ensure the growing population a healthy and nutritious diet within safe environmental limits, sounds like a worthwhile venture right?
The EAT Lancet diet on closer inspection was far from sustainable. This new diet suggested that about half of our calories come from carbohydrates in the form of wheat, rice, corn, and soy along with a generous helping of refined oils (chemically extracted from corn and soy), the EAT Lancet diet (whether intentionally or by accident) has stumbled upon the perfect formula that will drive you to consume more of the food-like products that the EAT Foundation group of companies (who are generously bankrolling the extravaganza) will benefit from you consuming more of!
By letting herbivores eating only grass (what they are designed for) they grow slower, with better health and welfare, and the meat tastes more. Research also suggest that it's healthier for you (due to better omega3: 6 profile). It's also much more sustainable, not only by contributing to storing carbon in the soil, but by reducing the number of animals as you can only feed a certain number of cows or sheep in a certain area. (If you feed cows mainly grains in a factory, you can in theory have the biggest farm in the midst of a city)
Grass fed free ranged beef is becoming a big thing, especially in the US, but so should grass fed milk and dairy. You get much less milk per cow, but better quality, nutrition content, and animal welfare. But there are Norwegian farmers that are trying to do the right things.
Horgen Gård is one of them. Their cows are 100% grass fed and free ranged - living outside throughout the year. The meat (and yes, I tasted it myself) is the best ever.
Why don’t all farmers do it? Because they are forced to industrialize to make a living. In Norway average cow eats 40-50% grain, including soy from the Rainforest in Brazil. So unless farm subsidies – and consumer demand – change towards incentivizing less but better quality, this wont be possible.
So what can YOU do? If you love your meat and dairy, eat less and choose free range and grass fed. Get to know your local farmer and buy directly from them through initiatives like “REKO ringen” where you live. Or ask for organic free range at your grocery store.