Red Meat and Health

We believe that red meat plays a central role in a balanced diet and a balanced, natural approach to farming.

To help spread that message, we have created this page for shareable resources highlighting the positive impact red meat has on nutrition and the environment.

As well as some simple messages, there are also images, infographics and animations to support you in having positive, engaging and factually-correct conversations around agriculture, red meat and the environment.

Environment

  • The UK is one of the most sustainable places in the world to produce beef and lamb because of our climate and geography

  • Grazing ruminants help manage permanent pasture as an effective carbon sink

  • The grazing cattle and sheep aid biodiversity and managing our unique countryside

  • Without grazing ruminants, massive swathes (more than 60%) of agricultural land in the UK would be taken out of food production, as it is not suitable for cropping, while our population grows




Health

  • Lean red meat can play an important role as part of a balanced diet
  • Lean red meat provides vitamins and minerals that contribute towards good health and wellbeing
  • Meat is eaten by almost 98% of people in the UK1, with red meat a popular choice and a valuable source of protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins, vitamin D, selenium and iodine
  • There is no proven, causal link between red meat and cancer. Any alleged link is from an associative study only, the type of study which can link the rise in deaths of hedgehogs on the roads in Asia with a rise in televisions in households in the USA, for instance.

Specific messaging


  1. Beef is naturally rich in protein[2], which helps muscle growth and supports muscle mass
  2. Beef provides iron and four essential vitamins* that help reduce tiredness and fatigue
  3. Beef provides 8 essential vitamins and minerals that support good health and wellbeing
  4. Beef is a rich source of zinc, which supports normal hair, nails and skin
  5. Beef is a rich source of zinc, which supports normal cognitive function, fertility and reproduction and also contributes to the maintenance of normal testosterone levels in the blood
  6. Beef is a source of iron which helps the immune system to work

[2] Consumer Focused Health Claims for Beef, AHDB – February 2016, page 2


  1. Lamb is naturally rich in protein[3], which helps muscle growth and supports muscle mass. It is also need for normal growth and development of children’s bones
  2. Lamb naturally contains 7 vitamins and minerals that support good health and wellbeing
  3. Lamb provides four essential vitamins that help reduce tiredness and fatigue
  4. Lamb is a source of four essential vitamins and minerals that help the immune system to work normally
  5. Lamb provides five essential vitamins and minerals that support normal mental function

[3] Consumer Focused Health Claims for Lamb, AHDB – February 2016, page 2


  1. Pork is naturally rich in protein which helps the growth of muscles and supports the maintenance of both muscles and bones. Protein is also needed for normal growth and development of children’s bones
  2. Pork is a source of four essential vitamins and minerals that help the immune system to work normally
  3. Pork provides zinc which contributes to normal fertility and reproduction
  4. Pork is rich in essential vitamins and minerals that support mental function and help reduce tiredness and fatigue (*Niacin, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12).

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