New guidelines set out by the Swiss government have suggested a 70 per cent drop in meat consumption, with information that the consumption of meat in Switzerland is three times higher than it should be.

A Swiss newspaper for English speakers, Le News, said that Switzerland’s population eat an average 110g of meat per day. The new guidelines are expected to help reduce this by two-thirds and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

Controversially, the guidelines suggest an increased dairy intake, which could be seen as a contradiction on the new advice given to citizens. Le News refers to information on hip fracture rates from a study that looked into the correlation of bone health and dairy-rich diets; taking note on some countries with high dairy consumption having some of the highest hip fracture rates.

An increased intake of fruits and vegetables is also recommended. Plant based items such seitan and tofu are included as a source of protein, however legumes and whole grains have not been mentioned, as pointed out by Le News.

Thinking of switching?

For those looking to switch to a meat-free diet, it should be easy enough in Switzerland. Earlier in the year, Switzerland was voted as the best country to be vegetarian in according to a study conducted by Eco Experts.

Countries were judged by their number of veggie restaurants, annual meat consumption and price of meat by the kilogram. Switzerland has over 165 meat-free-friendly restaurants, many of which are accommodating to a plant based diet.

The eco-impact

The new guidelines will help Switzerland’s environmental credentials, too. According to the Federal Agricultural Office: “Eighty per cent of methane emissions in Switzerland come from agriculture, largely produced by ruminants – mainly dairy cows – when they chew the cud.”

It was reported that 300,000 tonnes of soy feed for livestock was imported into the country, with animal agriculture being the leading cause of greenhouse gases. It is estimated that 85 per cent of this feed is imported from Brazil, where rainforests are destroyed to cater for the need of livestock feed.

 

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