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Fao: eggs, meat, milk, essential for nutrition

A document from the UN organization encourages appropriate consumption / Annex

Siamo una grande famiglia innamorata del buon cibo. La nostra ricetta? Valorizzare la filiera agricola italiana e attenzione all'ambiente. Scopri il nostro impegnoSiamo una grande famiglia innamorata del buon cibo. La nostra ricetta? Valorizzare la filiera agricola italiana e attenzione all'ambiente. Scopri il nostro impegnoAdvertisement

With all due respect to the all-out supporters of vegetable proteins, human beings cannot give up meat, milk and eggs. The warning is issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) which, in support of its thesis, mentions over 500 scientific articles and about 250 political documents. Meat, eggs and milk contain nutritional properties that cannot be obtained from foods of plant origin, states the latest FAO report, entitled "Contribution of terrestrial animal source food to healthy diets for improved nutrition and health outcomes".

The contribution of foods of animal origin "is particularly vital during key stages of life such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, infancy, adolescence and old age", reads the FAO document. Meat, eggs and milk provide a range of important macronutrients such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates and micronutrients which are difficult to obtain from plant-based foods in the required quality and quantity. Foods of animal origin also contain "high quality proteins, a series of essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, choline and bioactive compounds such as carnitine, creatine, taurine": all substances with "important functions for health and development".

Iron and vitamin A are among the most common micronutrient deficiencies worldwide, particularly in children and pregnant women, FAO warns. Globally, more than one in 2 preschoolers (372 million) and 1.2 billion women of childbearing age are deficient in at least one of three micronutrients: iron, vitamin A or zinc. Three-quarters of these children live in South and East Asia, the Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa.

The FAO then mentions some data from individual countries. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, each person consumes an average of only 160 grams of milk per year, while in Montenegro an average of 338 kilograms is consumed per person. As for eggs, in South Sudan, each person consumes an average of 2 grams per year compared to an average of 25 kg for one person in Hong Kong. In Burundi, each person consumes just 3 kilograms of meat a year, compared to 136 kilograms for those living in Hong Kong.

When consumed as part of an appropriate diet, foods of animal origin can help meet nutrient goals endorsed by the World Health Assembly and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for reducing stunting, wasting among children under five, low birth weight, anemia in women of reproductive age, and obesity and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in adults.

In regards to the evidence of risks from consuming animal-based foods, the report said consuming even low levels of processed red meat may increase the risk of mortality and chronic disease outcomes, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. of the colorectal.

The recent first session of the FAO Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock encouraged governments to update national dietary guidelines to consider, where appropriate, how meat, eggs and milk can contribute to specific nutrient needs. during the course of human life.

Attached to this EFA News is the full FAO report.

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EFA News - European Food Agency