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Verner’s View – Food for Thought

Dr Verner Wheelock, the founder of training consultancy Verner Wheelock and former head of the Food Policy Research Unit at the University of Bradford, now spends his retirement researching the latest ideas on Nutrition & Health. Here he presents his own thoughts on the recent EAT – Lancet Commission report.

Dr Verner Wheelock

No doubt you will have seen some of the recent food related headlines such as:

“Brits must limit meat intake to QUARTER rasher of bacon a day”

“A bit of meat, a lot of veg – the flexitarian diet to feed 10bn”

“Eating Red Meat Is Wreaking Havoc on Earth. So, Stop It!”

These headlines are based on a recent report entitled ‘Food in the Anthropocene: The EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems’ (Walter Willett et al.). 

The EAT–Lancet Commission is the first of a series of initiatives on nutrition led by The Lancet in 2019.  In a nutshell, the Commission brings together over 30 contributors across the globe to reach a consensus as to what constitutes a healthy and sustainable diet.

Their reference diet advocates the reduction of red meat and sugar consumption globally by 50% and an increase of 100% in the consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Essentially it would be primarily a plant-based diet.

As the respected medical journal, The Lancet is involved, then you would probably assume that the conclusions of this report are based on sound scientific evidence. In fact, it does not take a great deal of effort to discover that, in my opinion, this report is not worth the paper it is written on. However, you may choose to disagree and come to your own conclusions after reading the report and the various critiques.

You can read a summary of the report here:  www.thelancet.com/commissions/EAT

The full report can be accessed here: www.scimex.org/__data/assets/file/0008/387296/Food-production_LANCET_paper.pdf

1. Firstly, I believe there are massive conflicts of interest:

EAT was established by a very wealthy Norwegian animal rights activist who promotes veganism.  There seems to be no doubt that the primary objective is to demonise meat. Several multinational plant-based food businesses are closely involved in EAT as shown in these articles:



2. Second, implementation of the recommendations would result in a diet that is deficient in a range of nutrients.

For example, just 5% of the recommended Vitamin D intake, 55% of the calcium requirement and 17% of retinol, as Zoe Harcombe explains:


3. Third, doing away with food producing animals, especially ruminants, would be an ecological disaster.

Where it has been attempted, the result has been desertification, as Allan Savory explains in this video presentation:


Please note: The views in this article are those of Dr Verner Wheelock and do not necessarily reflect the views of Verner Wheelock Associates Ltd.