Tonight on TV: Meet a man who’s investigating meat

The Truth About Meat. Picture Shows: Chris Bavin, BBC. Photographer: Colin Rogal

The Truth About Meat. Picture Shows: Chris Bavin, BBC. Photographer: Colin Rogal - Credit: BBC/Colin Rogal

Greengrocer Chris Bavin sets out to find out whether certain claims about meat, linking it to cancer and heart disease, are justified.

With the help of a team of scientists, he follows 40 volunteers on a study to find out whether there are any potential dangers, tests whether paying more for chicken makes it any better, and discovers a way to dramatically reduce the health risks associated with processed meats. Plus, he finds an unlikely lean super-meat that will not break the bank (dragon meat. Not really).

Apparently, one of the most popular New Year's resolutions of recent years is for people keen to eat less meat.

I would desperately struggle with this resolution – not because I am an offal-guzzling carnivore, but because I haven't eaten meat or fish for more than 30 years. To eat less would involve having some kind of netting fitted to my mouth to prevent kamikaze spiders flying down my gullet.

While I don't eat things with a face or food that had parents, I do, however, wear leather (not all over. I am not Bonnie Tyler) so am a hypocritical vegetarian, although if you'd lived through the summer of 1993 living with a plastic-shoe wearing vegan, you'd understand. Anyway, you lot have eaten the cow, the least I can do is honour its life by, er, using it as a lovely bag.


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There are lots of reasons why people should eat less meat – if the world ate 15 per cent less meat, which means abstaining from flesh for one day a week, it would mean the environmental equivalent of taking 240 million cars off the road each year. And as long as one of those cars isn't either of mine, I am completely down with that.

If you join me in the Vegetarian Corner, you can say goodbye to meals out that don't involve extensive Googling of menus beforehand, bid farewell to marshmallows and hello to a longer life, better sex, more room in the freezer for ice-cream, less chance of food poisoning and less guilt about the environment, the supply of fossil fuel (it takes more than eight times as much fuel to produce meat protein as plant protein) and super-viruses.

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Being a vegetarian isn't a mistake, it's only a missed steak.

• The Truth About Meat is on BBC1 tonight at 11.25pm

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