A systematic review of the definitions and interpretations in scientific literature of ‘less but better’ meat in high-income settings

Summary

‘Less but better’ is a pragmatic approach to tackling the sustainability challenges of meat consumption and production. Definitions of ‘less’ and ‘better’ lack clarity. Here we explore interpretations of these concepts, finding increasing use of ‘less but better’ in the literature from Western, high-income settings. Despite discrepancies among interpretations of ‘less’ meat, existing quantifications indicate that significant reduction is needed to achieve desirable food system outcomes. Interpretations of ‘better’ meat incorporate the delivery of environmental sustainability, improved animal welfare and better health or nutrition, but lack clear principles and omit many sustainability themes. Practices and outcomes are seldom linked, and diverging narratives on interactions between ‘less’ and ‘better’ exist. A shared vision of livestock systems with improved sustainability across multiple indicators is needed to establish principles for ‘less but better’ in order for decision-making to deliver desired outcomes.

Information

Theme affiliation: Food
Link to centre authors: Resare Sahlin, Kajsa
Publication info: Resare Sahlin, K., Trewern, J. 2022. A systematic review of the definitions and interpretations in scientific literature of ‘less but better’ meat in high-income settings. Nature Food. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s43016-022-00536-5

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