Meat the Change - Eat less meat, but of better quality

How Slow Are You?

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How much meat do you eat each week?

What cuts of meat do you usually buy?

What criteria do you use for choosing meat when you shop?

am willing to spend more on the meat I buy if:

What do you think is a good way to combat the climate crisis?

What does your refrigerator look like inside?

If you can't eat meat, what do you replace it with?

How Slow Are You?

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How much meat do you eat each week?

What cuts of meat do you usually buy?

What criteria do you use for choosing meat when you shop?

am willing to spend more on the meat I buy if:

What do you think is a good way to combat the climate crisis?

What does your refrigerator look like inside?

If you can't eat meat, what do you replace it with?

Too fast

Not ideal, but it’s never too late to change your eating habits! Start with the little things that can add up to make a big difference for you and the planet. First of all, check the amount of meat you are eating every week, and most of all where it comes from. Read labels well: They can contain a lot of useful information about the characteristics of the breed, where and how it was farmed, what it ate and how it was slaughtered. If you’re always in a hurry and don’t have time, ask your butcher for meat that has been sustainably farmed.. Consumers have great power: It’s the demand that generates the supply!


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Meat the Change is a Slow Food campaign realized with the financial support of the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection

Lazy

Good, but not great. You’re on the right track to decrease your climate impact, but there’s still a lot to improve on. For example, be wary of low prices because they are often an indication of low-quality meat and unsustainable farming methods. Farmers who raise their animals properly can’t afford to sell their meat at low prices. We recommend not eating meat more than once a day. And remember: Ham and other cold cuts are still meat! Try to choose meat from local farms and avoid factory-farmed products, perhaps replacing them with legumes and vegetables or sustainable fish.


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Meat the Change is a Slow Food campaign realized with the financial support of the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection

Slow

Congratulations, you almost got the highest score! All you need is a little extra care when you shop, and you’ll become a slow meat expert in no time at all. Remember not to overfill your shopping cart, and only buy the fresh meat that you’ll consume immediately. Try mixing up cuts and animals as well: If consumers only ever ask for the same few types, only industrial farming will be able to meet demand. And never stop looking for small-scale sustainable farmers. They need consumers like you to survive in a market designed for big business. 


Are you happy with your result? Did you find these tips useful?
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Meat the Change is a Slow Food campaign realized with the financial support of the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection

Super Slow

Congratulations! You’ve scored the highest score… we’ve got nothing to add. You’re super slow; you consume little meat but of high quality, varying cuts and different breeds. You know where your meat comes from and put animal welfare first. The planet needs more people like you! Don’t hide your good habits, talk to friends and others will see that it’s not so hard to live a slow life.


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Meat the Change is a Slow Food campaign realized with the financial support of the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection
Find out how to be slow

MEAT THE CHANGE
EAT LESS MEAT, BUT OF BETTER QUALITY

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Current meat consumption in the West is unsustainable. The consequences are dire, for our health, for the climate and for the planet.

Not to mention for the animals being raised on intensive farms, essentially meat factories where their natural needs are completely ignored.

We need radical change, we need to fix our way of life and we need to do it now!

HOW MUCH MEAT DO WE EAT?

Currently average annual per capita consumption of meat in industrialized countries is around 80 kilos. Estimates for the future suggest this number will only increase. If, as the FAO claims, global meat consumption is set to double by 2050, from 250 million to 500 million tons of meat consumed every year, the system will not be able to cope. How much—and what—meat do you eat?

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WHY CUT BACK ON MEAT CONSUMPTION?

Climate breakdown is one of the most complex challenges facing the world, and the industrial production of meat is one of the biggest factors contributing to global warming. In intensive animal farming systems, the greenhouse gases emitted to produce one kilo of meat are the same as those given off by a car driving for 250 kilometers. But limiting meat consumption is important for many  reasons. It’s good for the planet because it reduces negative environmental impact, it’s good for our health because it reduces fat consumption and it’s good for animals because by choosing meat more carefully we can favor farms that respect animal welfare.

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WHY CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE ANIMAL FARMING

Extensive farms, which allow animals to graze, generate lower emissions than industrial farms, and most importantly their emissions are compensated by the presence of trees or natural grassland that contribute to storing carbon in the soil.

On pasture-based farms, the animals live outdoors for much of the year and grow while mostly eating grass (a natural food of high quality because many different plant species grow in the pastures), hay and some cereals. Additionally the animals are allowed to live longer, are not mutilated and most importantly are free to live according to their natural needs, without undergoing unnecessary suffering and stress. As a result their meat and milk are of much better quality and a fair price should be paid for them. It’s worth eating a little less meat, but choosing good meat!

WHY GO SLOW

Responsible for 14.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions, the livestock sector is one of the main sources of climate-altering gases. The type of farming that has come to dominate in recent decades is a heavily industrialized system which has caused serious damage to the environment. Think of the enormous volume of excrement which contaminates the soil and groundwater with nitrates, the methane emissions of bovines, the immense consumption of water on the farms. Industrial farms also need huge quantities of corn and soy to feed the livestock, meaning a third of all the world’s cropland is used to produce feed for farmed animals. Almost certainly the meat and the milk that you buy every day comes from farms like these, while those who are fighting to keep grazing their animals in a natural way, producing quality meat and dairy, struggle to find a market. The system has been designed to produce meat at lower and lower prices, meaning the quality of farming has inevitably declined.

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A high consumption of red meat and processed meat, together with excessive saturated fats, sugar, salt and junk (ultra-processed) food, is associated with heart disease, diabetes, high levels of cholesterol in the blood and some forms of cancer. 

Additionally the animals on industrial farms regularly receive antibiotics to prevent illnesses that can easily spread in such environments due to the cramped conditions. These drugs end up in the manure, passing into the soil and the groundwater, and of course also in the meat.

Over time, bacteria become resistant to the active ingredients and the antibiotics end up being ineffective for us too. When we’re constantly exposed to them, it makes it harder and harder to treat common infections. According to the European Union, this is one of the most worrying health crises that we will have to deal with in the years to come.

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Over the last 150 years the industrial approach has transformed livestock farming, applying the industrial principles of economies of scale and mechanization.

On hyperintensive industrial farms, animals are considered nothing more than meat or milk machines. Billions of cows, pigs and chickens live short lives in environments that are far from natural, confined to narrow spaces, mutilated and exploited to meet the needs of a market that demands ever-lower prices.

But an alternative does exist, farms where animals can live according to their natural needs, grazing outdoors, without suffering, exploitation or stress.

We must support them, paying a fair price for their work.

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The industrialization of the sector makes life hard for small-scale virtuous farms that have higher costs and over time they end up being forced to close. If farmers could rely on more conscious consumers, willing to pay the right price for quality meat, this vicious circle would be broken.

How is Slow Food working with producers?

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WHAT IS SLOW FOOD?

Slow Food is a global, non-profit organization, founded to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions and to restore the right value to food, respecting those who produce it, in harmony with the environment, ecosystems, and traditions.

Every day Slow Food works in 160 countries to promote good, clean and fair food for all.

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#GOSLOW

Use the #GOSLOW hashtag on your social media and help spread the campaign. Every day our decisions can have an impact on our health, but also the environment and particularly the climate.

CHANGE YOUR HABITS

Every time you go shopping, remember that your choices can have a positive impact on the global food system.

Download a guide to good practices

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SLOW FOOD'S ACTIVITIES

With a vision that starts from the roots to reach our tables, Slow Food is a major international non-profit association committed to giving value back to food, with respect for food producers working in harmony with the environment and ecosystems, guardians of artisanal skills and local traditions.

Slow Food is active every day in 160 countries, promoting good, clean and fair food for all.

WHAT WE DO

MEAT THE CHANGE … NOW IT'S UP TO YOU!

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