The world needs to reduce meat consumption to reduce environmental damage, says a new report from the World Resources Institute.
But the American Meat Institute says the report is flawed, counting how much meat is produced, not how much people eat.
It fails to take into account waste, spoilage and pet food, the institute says, and it fails to acknowledge that meat is rich in nutrients.
The World Research Institute report echoes others that worry about issues such as greenhouse gases emitted by cattle.
The WRI reports says that “the average American could cut their diet-related environmental impacts nearly in half just by eating less meat and dairy.”
WRI said in a release that its goal is to shift Americans’ diets more toward a plant-based direction, not to see meat cut out of diets altogether.
“Many people — especially in rich countries — eat much more protein than they need, so WRI shows that they could cut back on meat and dairy while easily meeting their protein needs,” the organization said in the release.
For example, while the WRI report said that U.S. protein intake far outstrips nutritional need, NAMI pointed out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and data considered by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee indicate that “some men and some women both under-consume and over-consume protein, but on average, Americans are hitting the target.”
The meat institute says the WRI report also overlooks the more efficient production systems in the United States that have a lesser impact on the global environment than meat production in most other countries.