Giving up beef could reduce diet-related deaths by 5%: WEF

Demand for meat is increasing rapidly in China and other developing regions, while holding relatively stable at high levels in high-income countries.
Demand for meat is increasing rapidly in China and other developing regions, while holding relatively stable at high levels in high-income countries.PHOTO: AFP

CHICAGO (BLOOMBERG) - If people switched to alternative sources of protein from beef, diet-related deaths may decline as much as 5 per cent in high- and upper-middle-income countries, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The report also said such a scenario could reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter.

"It will be impossible to sustainably satisfy the world's future demand for meat," WEF managing director Dominic Waughray said in a statement.

The report said the challenge of meeting protein needs of a projected population of 10 billion people by around 2050 sustainably can be helped by innovation and experimentation in alternative and traditional proteins.

Global meat consumption is rising with no sign of stopping, the report said.

Demand is increasing rapidly in China and other developing regions, while holding relatively stable at high levels in high-income countries, the report said.