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Less Meat, More Options, Better Health

A new report released by Health Care Without Harm, Redefining Protein: Adjusting Diets to Protect Public Health and Conserve Resources, distills current research to reveal the human, environmental, and social impacts of the production of high-protein foods other than meat to arm hospitals with key information to design the healthiest plate. The impact of hospital purchases depends upon how organizational values are prioritized and applied. The findings and associated Purchasing Considerations, guide the complex decision-making process encountered when applying an environmental nutrition approach to food purchases, specifically when reducing and replacing meat on the plate.

What could we potentially achieve by reducing meat on the plate? We could:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the subsequent public health impacts of climate change
  • Reduce our risk for chronic illnesses associated with high meat consumption
  • Reduce health care costs in the absence of chronic illness
  • Conserve lifesaving antibiotics and increase economic opportunities for farm and food businesses in our communities by shifting our reliance from large scale industrialized meat production systems

Opportunities on the horizon for health care

This new report serves as an important opportunity for the health sector to evaluate their menus with an eye towards the greatest impact their purchases can have on the health of the communities and individuals they serve.

Ted Schettler, Science Director of the Science & Environmental Health Network is a contributing author of the report.

To read the report, please click here.