Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
Last week was National Vegetarian Week and this makes us think again about the food that we eat, how it is produced and how far it has travelled to get to our plates. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or slaughter by-products. This sounds quite strict and necessitates reading food labels on ready-made produce but it is a habit easily acquired.
There have been many studies over the years that have shown that those living on vegetarian diets are much healthier in several different ways than those who eat meat based diets. People that follow a vegetarian diet may do so for different reasons; perhaps because they feel that it is ethically wrong to kill other creatures to eat when it is unnecessary. Some people follow the diet because they believe that the whole world could be fed more easily if meat were not eaten, some follow a vegetarian regime just because it is healthier and some because they don’t like the taste or texture of meat.
Many people, including some of the medical profession, believe that it is not possible to be healthy without eating meat or fish and it is fair to say that any diet that is unbalanced is unhealthy. Maybe it is more difficult to get the balance right with a vegetarian diet but all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are there in a good menu. Some people believe that they need to eat fish to be healthy but forget about all the pollutants, particularly mercury, that are found in fish.
It is almost impossible to imagine a world where no-one eats meat simply because big business rules the roost where food is concerned and although people are becoming much more likely to question the origins of food, the large food corporations are unlikely to loosen their hold over the market.