Eat more vegetables for health and planet, says meat-reducer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Cover for River Cottage VegHugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been talking about his move towards a less meat-dependent diet and the launch of a new cookbook dedicated solely to vegetables.

River Cottage Veg Every Day! will be the first vegetarian publication from the avowedly carnivorous chef.

“I have been eating a lot less meat lately and I’m feeling almost evangelical about persuading other people to do the same,” Fearnley-Whittingstall wrote recently in an article to coincide with the book’s launch later this month.

Its purpose, according to the chef, is to encourage people to eat more vegetables and as a result less meat and fish.

“We eat too much meat in the west – too much for our own health and far too much for the welfare of the many millions of animals we raise for food,” he added.

Condemning factory farming on environmental and ethical grounds, Fearnley-Whittingstall observed that the problems associated with the industrial production of meat around the world are as bad as they ever were, despite recent positive changes in the UK.

The cookbook contains not even a hint of meat because that would be “a cop out”, encouraging cooks to cling on to the notion that meals are incomplete without it.

“Undeniably, we are faced with the very challenging question: how can we eat really well every day without contributing to global warming, the suffering of animals or the pillaging of our precious marine resources? There is one, unequivocal answer: to eat more vegetables,” he said.

“Addressing this issue isn’t about giving anything up, it’s about filling your boots: embracing a world of fabulous, fresh ingredients and finding some new and irresistible ways to cook and serve them. The crucial thing is the mental shift: after that, I predict you will find it a breeze.”

River Cottage Veg Every Day! will be published on 19 September.

Read the full article here and get £7 off the cover price.

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