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Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board: 'Eat Balanced, enjoy the goodness'

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s ‘We Eat Balanced’ campaign is a marketing tool for meat and dairy presented as a public health message.

AHDB, an industry funded and run organisation, claims ‘We Eat Balanced’ is ‘a voice to present the facts about food and farming from the UK’. However, its overriding focus is the benefits of meat and dairy, in a country that already consumes more meat and dairy than national and scientific recommendations suggest. The Lancet research recommends that meat intake is limited to 70 grams per person, per day, however according to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, on average people in the UK eat 220 grams of meat (includes red, processed and white meats) per day, which is double the world average (117 grams) and more than three times The Lancet recommendation.

What’s more, the imagery in this advert presents a misleading representation of the meat and dairy industry, showing small herds of cows and sheep in open, green fields and animals that are only fed on grass. This belies the reality where around 85% of UK farmed animals are factory farmed.

In another TV advert for the ‘We Eat Balanced’ campaign, AHDB claim that meat and dairy products are ‘so natural – it takes the rain from the sky and the plants we humans cannot eat’. This claim misrepresents the way most animals are currently farmed, reliant on imported feed, leading to pollution and high greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time they over-inflate positive health benefits of meat and dairy products, ignoring the fact that most people in the UK over consume animal products, which has significant negative health impacts.


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