‘Make meat a treat’ says panel of celebrity chefs

People should ‘make meat a treat’ according to a panel of celebrity chefs who met to discuss the shift towards plant based dining ahead of World Meat Free Week (11 – 17 June 2018).

The panel, who met at Tredwells restaurant in Seven Dials, included:

  • Chantelle Nicholson, Chef Patron, Tredwells
  • Russell Bateman, Head Chef, Colette’s at The Grove
  • Hayden Groves, Executive Chef, BaxterStorey
  • David Simms, Culinary Director, Restaurant Associates
  • Steve Groves, Head Chef, Roux at Parliament Square
  • Helena Puolakka, Chef Patron, Aster Restaurant
  • In a sign of the times, the chefs – all of whom serve meat on their menus, as well as a number of plant based dishes – revealed they eat meat free meals at home at least twice a week, primarily for health reasons but also citing sustainability concerns.

Chantelle Nicholson said: “We need to be really conscious of the impact meat-heavy diets are having on our bodies and the planet. Plant based eating is not a trend or a fad. It’s going to keep growing and expanding. And as chefs, it’s something we need to reflect in our menus, ensuring we include a good selection of plant based dishes, as well as more traditional meat and fish based plates.”

Steve Groves added: “We’re not talking about making meat disappear entirely – that would be a disaster. Meat is delicious and farming it has been at the heart of the British culture and economy for generations. What we’re talking about is eating less, and eating better.”

David Simms agreed: “We just don’t need to be eating meat every day. It’s understandable why sustainably sourced good quality meat is expensive. It should be a treat. Intensive animal farming methods that produce low-quality cheap meat is the issue.”

The global population is estimated to reach 9.1 billion by 2050 – meaning the world will require an extra 200 million tonnes of meat annually if the present rate of consumption continuesi. With meat production already responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than all emissions from global transport combinedii – the current shift in attitudes towards lowered meat consumption is welcome news.

The chefs took part to show their support for World Meat Free Week. To get involved, simply pledge your support at www.worldmeatfreeweek.com and swap one or more meals to meat free between 11 and 17 June 2018. As well as helping to drive awareness of a ‘less and better’ approach to meat consumption, just one swap can:

  • Save greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to enough electricity to charge your mobile phone for two yearsiii
  • Reduce your carbon footprint by up to 50%iv
  • And globally, we would save:
  • More than 685 billion calories – that’s over 1.2 billion Big Macs
  • And the carbon equivalent of boiling a kettle more than 1 trillion times – that’s a lot of tea and coffee!

UK singer songwriter and Strictly Come Dancing winner Jay McGuiness has already pledged his support. Pledge yours at www.worldmeatfreeweek.com.

iHow to feed the world in 2050
iiLivestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector iiiAnalysis based on internal Quorn report ‘Quorn, Beef and Chicken Footprints’, 2014 iv Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK

One meal for a healthier planet #WorldMeatFreeWeek

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