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British families ‘buying less meat and turning to fruit and veg’

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Households in the UK are spending less and less on meat products and buying more fresh fruit and vegetables, a national food survey has revealed.

Figures released on Thursday show a long-term decline in the amount of raw beef, lamb and pork bought by UK households.

The report, published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, revealed that the purchase of meat has been falling since the turn of the century and dropped by 4.2 per cent in the last year.

And the amount of “meat products” brought by families – sausages, bacon, poultry and meat-based ready meals – has fallen by almost seven per cent since 2012.
Livestock chair of the National Farmers Union Charles Sercombe suggested the decline in meat sales could be because “unfortunately, the positive role red meat plays in a healthy, balanced diet is often overlooked”.

He added: “The high-quality meat products produced by British livestock farmers are naturally rich in protein and are a good source of iron, zinc and essential vitamins.”

The national survey found Brits spent, on average, £42.43 per week on food, alcohol and eating out – 16 per cent more than ten years ago.

And it revealed that food is the largest item of expenditure for low income households, after housing, fuel and power costs.

The study said purchases of beef fell by 1.5 per cent on 2012 and households bought almost 10 per cent less pork.

Whilst people are spending more money on fresh fruit and vegetables, with an increase of four per cent in four years.

Written by Chloe Chaplain for the Evening Standard

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