The Taoiseach has admitted that his previous plans to reduce meat consumption were “unsuccessful”.
n last night at the IFA AGM, before the Taoiseach sat down to a 21-day-aged, pan-fried, 8-ounce fillet of Tipperary-raised Hereford beef, he told reporters he was eating a lot of meat, “probably twice during the day”.
He admitted that he had tried to reduce it, but he hadn’t been able to. Asked if he would eat the beef on the IFA event’s menu and if beef is still part of his weekly diet, he said: “It’s more than weekly. I think it’s one of those things you do says.”
When asked if he eats as much meat as he does, he admitted that he “probably eats meat twice a day. I’ve tried to reduce that but haven’t been successful.”
Back in 2019, when Varakdar was Taoiseach, he told a Fine Gael parliamentary party that he was trying to eat less meat to reduce his carbon footprint.
The move caused an uproar among farmers at the time and drew criticism from Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue, who said the Taoiseach ignored the fact that Ireland had one of the most carbon-efficient beef production systems in the world.
“Irish cattle farmers have worked incredibly hard to achieve and maintain their record for climate action, but Leo Varadkar failed to recognize this.”
At the time, the Taoiseach also said he ate a “very nice Hereford steak” hours after making the comments.
In the face of fierce criticism from the opposition, he said at the time: “It’s not careless. It is a fact that red meat increases cancer rates and also contributes more to climate change.”
Last night, the Taoiseach also said he was keen for the government to continue working with farmers to increase the country’s agricultural exports, aiming to increase the value of those exports to E20 billion.
“Agriculture not only provides food for 10 million people around the world, but also creates jobs and livelihoods in all parts of the country and is an important part of our economy and our society.
“We are also keen to work with farmers on how to meet our targets on climate and biodiversity loss as well.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/forestry-enviro/environment/taoiseachs-plans-to-cut-back-on-meat-unsuccessful-42312181.html Taoiseach’s plans to reduce meat ‘unsuccessful’