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Not ham: Spanish minister’s request to eat less meat meets resistance | Spain

For many Spaniards, this is a wise, responsible, and long overdue proposal. But to others, it’s like a heresy like a well-done steak or a piece of lean meat. Ham Or just eat a barbecue of various vegetables.

This week, the Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon launched a campaign inviting people to consider reducing meat consumption for the benefit of health and the planet.

In the video He pointed out that Spain eats more meat than any other EU country, slaughtering 70 million pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, horses and birds every year, producing 7.6 million tons of meat.In a face Rapid desertification Garzón added that for the next few decades, it would make little sense to use 15,000 litres of water to feed every kilogram of meat.

He also pointed out that although the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency recommends that people eat 200 to 500 grams of meat a week, the average Spanish intake exceeds 1 kg.

“This does not mean that we cannot have family barbecues from time to time, but we will be more restrained and make up for our days of eating meat, rice, beans and vegetables by eating more salad days,” the minister said.

“Our health and the health of our family are threatened. Eating too much meat is harmful to our health and the planet.”

Garzón admits that many people do not have the time or money to avoid cheap meat-based meals. He also stated that meat produced on small farms is healthier and more sustainable than meat produced on large farms, which he said has adversely affected the environment and local economy.

Although he emphasized that he only asked people to consider the personal and environmental impact of the food they eat, instead of telling them what to do, his comments were quickly criticized by a minister of the coalition government and the animal husbandry department.

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Luis Planas Tell Cadena Ser Radio The agricultural sector is being “seriously unfairly criticized because its honest work for our food and economy deserves respect”. He said that meat consumption had been declining for the past 10 years before the Covid pandemic began.

Six meat production associations wrote a copy Open letter to Garzon Said they were shocked to see him and his department launch a campaign to “defame” an industry with 2.5 million jobs and nearly 9 billion euros worth of exports.

At the same time, others have a hard time figuring out what the fuss is about. The Spanish food journalist wrote on Twitter: “Eating less meat is good for your health and the environment.” Mikel Lopez Iturriaga“You can stuff your face with all the steaks you want, but don’t be angry, because what the minister tells you is exactly the same as the World Health Organization, other agencies, and countless other scientific experts in the field.”

He added that in any case, there is no need to resort to “eating kale with quinoa and chia seeds”, thanks to Spain’s long and rich history of vegetarian dishes and other dishes that use minimal meat. “Traditional Spanish cooking is full of almost meatless dishes: gazpacho, tortillas, rice, beans, pistol, Salad, vegetables… Give it a try, you will be good for yourself and the earth. ”

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