To eat, or not red meat – that is the question

With red meat consumption a hot topic of conversation, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is hosting a free event to help people make up their minds about the industry’s pros and cons.

Professor Sir Charles Godfray, a population biologist from the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, will be taking part in From Plate to Planet alongside Denise Walton, an award-winning organic beef farmer from the Scottish Borders.

Sir Charles is interested in how our global food system must change, via ‘sustainable intensification’, if it’s to cope with the 21st-Century challenges facing humanity.

Denise has set up an on-farm butchery to deliver from farm-to-fork, while at the same time making sure she improves the farm’s biodiversity and habitat.

Taking place in Aberdeen next month, the guests will be welcomed to the stage by Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC.

Sir Charles and Denise will share their thoughts before the floor is opened up for questions and debate.

Prof Powell said: ‘Red meat consumption is described as being good for you – providing an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and bad for you – raising blood cholesterol and increasing the incidence of bowel cancer.

‘It’s also described as either devastating for the environment due to effluent waste and animal methane contributing to overall greenhouse gas emissions, or beneficial for the natural economy and future generations through low-intensity, grass-fed systems.

‘This event is designed to help people decide where this seemingly-contradictory picture leaves us here in Scotland. What should we think? And what then should we do as taxpayers and consumers?

‘We want to move our ideas forward on this crucial matter – not just for us, but for future generations.’

From Plate to Planet will be held at the Lemon Tree, 5 West North Street, Aberdeen, on Monday 4 November (5.30-7pm).

Tickets are free but booking is essential. To sign up, visit