Meat should be a treat, claims Street-Porter

Meat should be a treat, not a staple, according to celebrity columnist and the face of Red Tractor Week Janet Street-Porter.

Writing in the Daily Mail under the headline, “Yes, junk food is addictive – but meat’s the deadliest drug”, Street-Porter said that potentially rising prices for meat should provide an opportunity for us to reassess its place in the diet.

“In [the UK], they’ve risen by 25% in three years and lamb prices are at their highest level for 27 years. Meat occupies such a central place in the British diet, we’re not buying less, but just switching to the cheaper cuts.

“Meat is not going to get cheaper. Isn’t this an opportunity to make beef, pork and lamb a treat rather than an everyday staple?”

She criticises the attitude of celebrity chefs for a constant push on meat: “Meat is still promoted to a ludicrous degree by all the top chefs, as if our lives would be drab without it. They seem to be implying it’s just not British to eat less of the stuff.”

She also claimed there were issues with imports: “Loopholes in our food labelling legislation mean that pies and pasties labelled as British can contain meat from countries where standards of health and hygiene are nowhere near as high as our own.

“Is our need for a meat fix so bad that we’re willing to eat beef that has travelled thousands of miles? You’re only issued with one body from birth to the grave, so why treat it like a dumping ground for cheap fuel full of dubious additives?”

Street-Porter, who recently fronted Red Tractor Week as a “brand ambassador” added that consumers should stick to home-grown products: “We need to eat less meat, and support our farmers who rear it ethically in decent conditions. Don’t moan about what it costs – just treat it as the luxury it deserves to be.”

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