Chinese Government Encourages Reducetarianism

The Chinese government has revised its dietary guidelines, and it's going reducetarian.

In reality, the change is subtle. The new guidelines recommend a minimum consumption of 280 g (10 oz) of red meat per week, down from the 50 g (12 oz) recommended in 2007. The upper limit remains unchanged at 525 g (19 oz) per week.

But in the world's most populous country, even small changes can make a big difference. In 2014, China accounted for one third of global meat consumption. According to the new guidelines, total meat, fish, and dairy consumption should be limited to 1400 g (49 oz) per week. Yet the current average is far higher--more than 2100 g (74 oz) per week--and growing. A forthcoming report by WildAid finds adherence to the guidelines would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5%. As Nathanael Johnson of observes, "That’s like zeroing out Mexico’s carbon emissions every year."


To make sure that reduction happens, WildAid and the Chinese Nutrition Society are launching a publicity campaign to promote the new guidelines.

Written by Cameron Meyer Shorb