We’ll give the public food facts not fake news – HCC

Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) has said it will champion red meat’s nutritional values and environmental credentials in a fact-based fightback against food fake news on social media.

Speaking to industry representatives at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair on Monday, chairman Kevin Roberts said: “We live in an era of food fake news: of social media sophistry.

“We’re fully aware that – aided by social media in particular – the pressure has been stepped up by red meat’s opponents in recent months.

“I’m sure you’ve heard and read it all: For instance, eating less red meat will somehow save the planet.

Well, here are the real facts. Wales has 1.8 million hectares of agricultural land; 89% of that is permanent pasture and much of this land is unsuitable for other food production.

“Producing quality meat the ‘Welsh Way’ – by non-intensive, mixed grazing – enables a vibrant, bio-diverse and beautiful landscape.”

Food Fake News

He also criticised sensationalist and misleading health claims by what he dubbed “enemies of red meat”.

“The real facts and the latest science are inconvenient for the radical wings of the vegetarian and vegan lobbies,” Roberts added.

“They cobble together assumptions based on often partial research and blend incompatible statistical correlation with meat consumption figures that are often far higher than the average UK intake.”

Roberts explained that as a result, HCC was redoubling its efforts to educate teaching and health professionals and food commentators about the perils of food fake news to ensure the true facts are put forward.

He lauded meal moderation and the value of the balanced plate and said red meat was a great source of protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc.

“It’s a fact that some in Britain, particularly young women, are deficient in these important nutrients, and could do with eating more red meat. 42% of teenage girls, for instance, don’t get enough iron in their diet.”

Roberts said the current Welsh Beef promotional campaign was based around the message that red meat is full of protein, vitamins and minerals and Wales’ sports stars were helping to illustrate this.

“Thank you to Elinor Snowsill and other sports personalities for being a part of our campaigns to date and a special thanks to Welsh rugby superstar Shane Williams, who will be with us on stand today to launch a campaign on lamb and healthy eating,” said Roberts.