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US consumers ready to pay more for less

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Some of the world’s leading farming advocates will star in the QMS podcast’s ‘World Tour’ series.

Launching on June 15 with US New York Times bestselling auth-

or and real food nutritionist Diana Rod-

gers, the six-part in-ternational series is

hosted by BBC Radio presenter Mark Step-hen and explores hot topics for the modern-day red meat industry from methane to mon-ey.

“What we eat and how it is produced is more in the public eye than ever before, and farming has to evolve to meet the challenges the future holds,” says Beth Alexander of QMS’ Industry Development team and the podcast producer.

“We are part of a global industry and we can learn so much from producers all over the world.

“The series brings international perspective and insights from a mix of both well- and lesser-known voices to probe different thinking and help farmers to identify new opportunities and innovation in our own livestock sector.”

In the first episode, Diana Rodgers RD, a world-renowned nutrition expert from Boston, Massachusetts, discussed how red meat has become a scapegoat, why publishing her book in a pandemic was so pertinent and why red meat can be a solution to climate challenge.

Her book and film, Sacred Cow, which caused a sensation both in the US and in the UK last year, are a detailed examination of some of the claims about red meat and how, in many cases, the arguments can be debunked.

“The debate between what is right to eat for the health of our planet and of our people has never been more polarised and meat has never been more vilified.

“A lot of this comes down to a disassociation with nature and farming,” she says.

“There are many health and environmental claims against cattle, and I address these piece by piece in my book.

“We hear, for example, that cow farts are destroying the planet, but this is misrepresented.

“Methane burped from a cow is less damaging than the same gas belched from fossil fuels. Over 60 per cent of our agricultural land worldwide cannot be cropped, and if we took it out of our system we’d have a hole in our system that can’t be filled by rewilding or forestry. You can’t just grow a Beyond Burger field anywhere.”

On the podcast, Diana articulates how dietary recommendations to eat less meat don’t usually take into consideration ‘confounding factors’ such as what is eaten with meat – baps and fries with a burger, for example – and the benefits of nutritious protein produced from naturally growing grass.

Upcoming interviewees include Australian farmer James Walker and how he rebuilt profitability and resilience after the drought; Dr Karen Beauchemin, a leader in ruminant nutrition and environmental sustainability from Canada looking at feed efficiency; Ray Archuleta on simultaneously improving soil health and profitability; and Tom Gubbins from Australia, and Sharon McIntyre, from New Zealand on accelerating performance through genetics for beef and sheep.

n The podcast series is available through Apple Podcast, Buzzsprout, and Spotify, as well as via the Quality Meat Scotland website and social channels.

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