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The National Food Strategy: The Plan

Executive summary

* The National Food Strategy – a complete review of England's food system from farm to fork – was commissioned by the then UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, in 2019.

* The National Food Strategy: The Plan was published on July 15th, 2021. This note looks at parts of the plan of most interest to real foodies: breaking the junk food cycle; meat; and plant vs animal protein, along with the strategic objectives, recommendations and limiting assumptions in the report.

* One of the limiting assumptions is the government commitment to “net zero” by 2050. As the report notes, “logically, closing down domestic agriculture and manufacturing would achieve this”, but “that would be absurd”. And it would be and yet the net zero target drives some absurd behaviours and some absurd conclusions (e.g., "the more intensively you rear some animals, the more carbon-efficient they tend to be.")

* Nutrition assumptions have also been made, which limit the potential of this report. Nutritional requirements (essential nutrients) have not been mentioned, let alone addressed.

* The beliefs systems underpinning this report are that plants are good, animals are bad. Starch and fibre are good, fat is bad. Sugar in fruit is good, but sugar in confectionery is bad.

* There were some good bits and some good aims, but the report did not deliver on the key word – FOOD – to the basic extent of what do human beings need to consume and how can the food supply optimally deliver our required nutrients.


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