TAX should be added to red meat to improve health and save lives, says a new report.
Some governments already tax harmful products like sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco to cover healthcare costs and to make people less likely to buy them. Now, experts would like to see sausages, bacon and burgers added to that list.
The research looked at how much it costs to treat illness caused by eating red meat. In the UK, processed meat would need to be taxed at 79% to cover this cost. This would raise the cost of a £2 packet of bacon to £3.58. Meat eating is also damaging the planet. In May, experts said avoiding meat and dairy products was the biggest way a person could reduce their impact on the environment. And in October, scientists said countries like the UK need to eat 90% less beef to stop dangerous climate change.
So what’s the alternative? Many plant-based products mimic meat to make them more appealing to meat-lovers. A plant-based vegan burger that bleeds beetroot juice has just gone on sale in Tesco and in restaurants across the UK. Future meat alternatives include lab-grown meat and insects, but it might take a little while to convince people to eat them. A recent study found only 26% of people would be willing to eat an insect, compared to 91% who are happy to eat plant based food like tofu and Quorn.