This is my latest article in the Jersey Evening Post. It outlines my concerns about the EAT report.
Last week, an ‘important’ report written by 37 scientists from 16 different countries was published in The Lancet to great fanfare from the media. To me, it feels like a Bond film with a dreary, but still scary, plot. This EAT-Lancet Commission, which pronounces itself as the authority on nutrition and purports to be operating with good intention, is a small global elite that is telling us how to eat food – but in a way designed to make us ill.
So, what are they telling us to do? Eat a lot less red meat (equivalent to about a quarter of a rasher of bacon a day) and eggs (1.5 a week) and to eat more fish and a lot more plants, including grains. The ostensible benefits are the enhancing and saving millions of lives and saving the planet.
On the face of it, apart from the sugar they allow, this sounds just dandy, so why am I concerned? This way of eating won’t make humans healthier and we will destroy many ecosystems. They expect us to eat our meals high in carbohydrates (51% – ouch!) and on the low side in protein (14%), and to have plenty inflammation-causing seed oils.
This diet gives you just 5% of the recommended level of vitamin D; you’ll also be short on vitamin K, as most in the EAT diet comes from broccoli, which supplies K1, whereas the best type for humans is K2. Expect deficiencies too in vitamin B12, retinol, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and omega-3s. But don’t worry, manufacturers will ‘fortify’ your foods and sell you supplements.
In addition, the group do not distinguish between the factory-farm systems of intensively produced meat fed on cheap, inflammatory grain, and regenerative agriculture where healthy livestock add to soil fertility, help build top soil and can also use land unsuitable for crops.
Am I anti-vegetarianism and veganism? No, it’s up to the person involved – but the same general recommendations stand: be properly informed, eat whole, unprocessed foods, avoid grains and faux packaged foods – ‘fortified’ or not – enjoy being outside and get enough sleep.
I just ask you and our States health teams to look more closely at the group (which involves no farmers), note how it has strong alliances with Big Food, Tech and Pharma – the lot who helped us create our global diabetes, obesity and associated health problems – and then make your dietary decisions.