The second part of the National Food Strategy is expected to tell the Government to step up efforts to promote more meat free diets.
Part two of the strategy by Henry Dimbleby is set to examine the country’s dependence on animal products and junk food, and the ways in which the public’s eating habits are contributing to the climate crisis.
Launched in 2019, Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the food chain Leon, was commissioned to lead a landmark review of Britain’s food system to inform a national strategy, the first major review of England’s entire food system in 75 years. Part one, published last July, highlighted the connection between obesity, poverty, and the UK’s high Covid-19 death toll. Part two will offer in-depth analysis on the climate crisis, biodiversity, pollution, antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people), the sustainable use of resources and the effect of meat production on the environment, according to the I newspaper.
The purpose of the strategy is to lay out the environmental and health problems caused by England’s food system and to establish how to safeguard the future of the country’s food supply. Key aims include ensuring the public can access safe, healthy affordable food regardless of their income or where they live; protecting the food system from future shocks; and restoring and enhancing the natural environment for the next generation. It also seeks to make sure the English food system is built upon a sustainable, humane and profitable agriculture sector.
“One of the miserable legacies of Covid-19 is likely to be a dramatic increase in unemployment and poverty, and therefore hunger,” the first instalment, published last summer, states. The effects of this hunger on children’s bodies and minds are likely to be long lasting and to exacerbate social inequalities, it said. Expanding eligibility for the Free School Meal scheme to include every child up to the age of 16 from a household where the parent or guardian is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent benefits, will help “shore up the diets” of the country’s most deprived young people, the report advised.
It also recommended that the value of Healthy Start vouchers, which can be used to purchase products including cow’s milk and baby formula, be increased from £3.10 to £4.25 per week. The value of the Healthy Start vouchers rose to £4.25 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in April.